It was glitz, glamour and pulsating football at the grand finale of
the 2018 Diamond Cup as hosts Diamond Football Academy won the
tournament for the third year running after beating Emewal Sports of
Uyo 2-0 in a thrilling encounter on Thursday.
Both team locked horns in the final after finishing top of their
respective groups in the three-day event at the Diamond Football
Stadium Umuahia in the presence of top dignitaries, several scouts
from European clubs and a massive crowd who trooped out in numbers to
the newly constructed stadium to witness the football fiesta.
A first-half penalty by Frank Nweke who won the Golden booth and a
beautiful team goal in the second-half was enough to see off Emewal
Sports who gave a good account of themselves in the tournament and
went home with a cash prize.
Cash prizes and gift items including Plasma TV, Refrigerator, Home
theatre and many more were also given to the highest goalscorer, best
player, best goalkeeper and the second best player, while Future Stars
of Port Harcourt who finished third after beating Jah-Rule Academy of
Owerri 2-1 in the third-place match also went home with a cash prize.
Speaking after the event, the organiser and President of Diamond
Football Academy Hon. Martin Apugo reiterated his commitment to the
development football in Nigeria and said he is ready to partner with
government at any level in this regard.
Hon. Apugo also expressed his joy in seeing some Diamond Academy
products such as Arsenal star who’s on loan to FC Porto Kelechi
Nwakali and Villarreal teenage sensation Samuel Chukwueze doing well
in Europe and for the national teams.
“I’m happy for Samuel Chukuweze and Kelechi Nwakali, however I’m not
surprised,” Hon. Apugo began.
“At the U17 World Cup in 2015 Chukwueze won the Bronze Booth and
Nwakali was the best player of the tournament, from that time I knew
the two boys are going to do wonders and now I’m not surprised at all
because I saw it many years ago.
“We have other boys like them too in Diamond Academy who are just
waiting for the opportunity explode, so I’m not surprised, any product
from Diamond is exceptional. That’s why we organise tournaments like
this so that they can showcase themselves and I’m glad the scouts have
identified some budding talents that can be developed into future
starts,” he concluded.