The 6th Edition of the Twitter Premier League tournament held on Saturday the 19th of December at the Campos Mini Stadium, Lagos Island.
The event kicked off at 10 am with the group games featuring the Pacers, the Guns, the Alphas, the Raineri, the Raptors and Teknon football clubs. The first goal was conceded by the Raineri within the first 2 minutes of the first match, signaling the explosive football action to follow as the teams took to the grassy battle arena to defend their badges, their sponsors, their colours and their online banter. Goals flowed from counter attacks, lively wing play and precision passing moves from one end of the pitch to the other.
The Sportive 23 video crew was on hand to record all the field hostilities, while the match commentary was handled by Sportsblip. Footy Fanz operated the digital score board with goal updates and immediate match highlights/results and table standings. The Nigerian Referees Association certified referees officiated all the TPL6 matches.
At the end of the group games, the Pacers and Guns qualified for the semis from Group A, while the Alphas and Teknon FC were victorious in Group B. The semi finals match ups provided yet more drama as the Alphas fell to the Pacers, while Teknon were knocked out by the Guns.
The Panthers and Tsarinas had the chance to settle their age old TPL rivalry with a one off all star match. The match soon turned into an entertaining half field affair with the Panthers relentlessly pressing to score. The match ending 5-0 in favour of the Panthers who elicited gasps from the TPL audience with their professional dribbles and blistering shots on goal.
The much anticipated Final match was played between the Guns and the Pacers, in a repeat of the last group game which had ended 3-1 in favour of the Pacers. This time the Pacers did not triumph so easily as the Guns held them to a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation time, after both teams failed to convert numerous begging chances to settle the scores.
The penalty decider was quickly executed at the end of which the Pacers prevailed once again over the Guns in a nail biting 3-2 finish.
This TPL edition was the first edition to feature exciting side attractions like the TPL Gladiator Joust, the TPL photo booth, the TPL Table soccer challenge, henna (hand tattoo art), face painting for the kids as well as celeb visits from OC Ukeje, Ruby Gyang and Lala Akindoju. The Hello Food sponsors also provided food vouchers worth 1000 naira free food deliveries to the audience, and took up sponsorship of the TPL Celeb Date for charity. The celeb charity date was a raffle competition to raise awareness and funds to support the Christmas on the Streetz outreach to children at the Makoko suburbs.
The social aspect of the TPL was all covered by the Be TV crew who ensured that the upbeat mood and atmosphere of the TPL was captured on video. The City FM DJ Flammzy (from Mavin Records) was on hand to rock the crowd over the Campos Mini Stadium speakers with back to back hits from Nigerian stars both contemporary and throwback.
#TPL6 was adjudged by veterans as the most engaging and smoothly run tournament so far when the curtain call came, with thinly veiled anticipation and expectation of the new year and the new TPL editions to follow therein.
Special thanks to our sponsors Jekalo for providing free rides to TPL 6 as well as Lucozade Nigeria and Knektar Juice for providing free drinks to the TPL player Gladiators. Read the full, special football report of the TPL on SPORTIVE and the Partner Blog TPL 6 review on WOLEXIS.
Photos courtesy of QD Salami. See all photos here.
P.S. Due to concerns about the player twitter registrations as well as petitions regarding the tournament refereeing, the TPL board agreed to declare the 6th Edition an inconclusive one, with exhibition tournament status in preparation for the full league format set to launch this year and culminating in the TPL 7 grand finale. The champions Pacers were given special recognition for their conduct and respect as worthy ambassadors of the game while the Alphas were awarded the fair play trophy.