Coaches, others laud Copa Lagos Beach Soccer tournament

BeachCoaches, foreign and domestic players on Saturday described the ongoing 2015 Copa Lagos Beach Soccer tournament as delightful as the event swings into day two.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 5th edition of the tournament will hold from December 18 to December 20th at Eko Atlantic.

In separate interviews, the coaches and players said that the tournament was a good experience and they were looking forward to a more exciting tournament in future.

The tournament began with beach football in which Pepsi Football Academy lost 7-5 to Kano Pillars in the opening game and FC Barcelona defeated Shooting Stars Football Club 4-2.

In the last two games, Lebanon also defeated England 4-2 while Sand Eagles fell 6-3 to Cote d’Ivoire to round up the first day games.

Noel Oct, a FC Barcelona player and a Swiss born beach soccer player, said that it was delightful to be in Nigeria, commending his team for 4-2 win over Shooting Stars.

“We are very happy to be here, it is not a country we go to every year; it is very special for us but we have positive experience and we are motivated to show them what beach soccer is all about.

“The game against Shooting Stars was tough but we won because we were the better team in the long run; we look forward to our next game against Kano Pillars,’’ Oct said.

Jiran Oyelade, Shooting Stars Beach soccer player, who was at the losing end of their first game against FC Barcelona, attributed their loss to inexperience but showed enthusiasm over the ongoing games.

“We are a first time team and we can see that Barcelona is a very experienced side but we are coming up and if you see the goal margin it wasn’t that much.

“Generally it feels great to be here playing with top international team Copa Lagos Beach Soccer was truly fun today and we hope we would do better tomorrow against Pepsi Football Academy,’’ Oyelade added.

Soro Jin, Cote de Ivoire beach soccer team coach, expressed happiness against their 6-3 win over Nigeria’s sand eagles, noting that the team was gaining more experience as it got ready to take on Lebanon in second game.

“We are in Lagos to play Copa Lagos because it is a good tournament and we are here to gain experience in our beach soccer national team.

“To have won Nigeria’s Sand Eagles in the first game shows we are progressing which is very important but we are just happy to be in such a fun and vibrant environment as this,’’ the coach said.

Tyler Hump, England’s goal keeper, said it was a disappointing first game as England team lost 4-2 to Lebanon, expressing optimism to play better against Sand Eagles.

“It’s a great tournament but disappointing results, but we will come-back strong tomorrow against Nigeria, they have nice fans and people in the tournament.

“First time I have been here, the weather is nice and hot which we are not used to in London but it is great and the hotel is lovely; we are still trying different Nigerian meals,’’ Hump said.

David Jones, Coach of England, called the first game loss against Lebanon frustrating but hoped for a better game against Nigeria.

“The game against Lebanon was frustrating because we controlled the first half and we were in the lead but we lost it, we are hoping for a better game against Sand Eagles.

“And it is a good atmosphere out here the Nigerian people seem friendly and they like us and we like their weather it is a nice experience for us,’’ Jones said.

Tunde Adekunle, Captain of the Pepsi Football Academy, attributed the teams 4-2 loss to Kano Pillars to inexperience and a new set of players but said the team would play better against Shooting Stars.

“We lost due to inexperience as we are a new set of players from the Pepsi Academy, but we will endeavour to play better against Shooting Stars in day two.

“I must commend the Copa Lagos and Pepsi, the atmosphere is nice and I am enjoying myself,’’ Adekunle said.

In day two of the tournament, Shooting Stars FC tackles Pepsi FA, FC Barcelona takes on Kano Pillars, Lebanon slugs it out with Cote D’Ivoire and a celebrity match between former internationals and entertainers will end the tournament.(NAN)

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