TCCCUP23 PREVIEW FINAL
Valiant v Gbagada
Mobolaji Johnson Arena (Onikan Stadium), Lagos.
April 8, 2023.
The TCC Cup Final for the first time would not feature a team that finished in the top three. It lends credence to the changing landscape of the tournament, and the fantasy of Cup runs, indeed, only the bravest would triumph.
The Blue Eagles of Gbagada, on one side of the draw, have braved the odds of an indifferent season that promised so much, but yet delivered a Cup final appearance. Smooth in the Cup Group stages at different times, they looked a totally different prospect oftentimes, only elevating their game when it mattered the most, case in point, the semifinal shootout win over Beyond Limits. Coach Akinyelu Olajide’s men are looking for a second Cup title, and their pedigree at this stage of the competition is well-documented. Sometimes Pep needs to become Mourinho.
On the other half are Valiant, who for the second straight season finished dead last in the TCC League, but yet, could complete one of the most sensational TCC stories ever, winning the Cup. It leaves little to the imagination that they are indeed Valiant in their fight, with big wins along the way setting them up for a date with destiny. It is the first time a team ranked 7th or lower will play a TCC semifinal let alone a final. The attrition of their best players has changed the course of their league lives but has proved a blessing in disguise for their Cup destinies.
Will the Cup ribbons be decked in Gbagada Blue or Valiant White? Only time will tell after the fourth meeting between these two sides.
MAN TO WATCH
Gbadamosi Rilwan (Gbagada)
The forward has been excellent this season and has three goals to his name in this tournament. He could be the difference in this huge final.