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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

2024 FEDERATION CUP: El-Kanemi Warriors, Rivers Angels emerge winners

2024 FEDERATION CUP: El-Kanemi Warriors, Rivers Angels emerge winners

El-Kanemi Warriors and the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) giants River Angels have won the Federation Cup in both the men’s and women’s categories respectively.

El-Kanemi Warriors had defeated Abia Warriors 2-0 while Rivers Angels defeated Naija Ratels 1-0.

The two teams which were tipped favourites lived up to expectations as they both fancied their chances to extend their records in the country’s old competition staged at Mobolaji Johnson stadium in Lagos.

The victory for El-Kanemi Warriors extends their federation titles to three, winning in 1991 and 1992 when the cup was called Challenge Cup.

READ ALSO: Enugu Rangers grab 8th NPFL title, secure CAF Champions League slot ahead Remo, Enyimba, Shooting Stars

Nasiru Salihu who scored a brace became a cynosure of eye yesterday after his sterling performance through manning the midfield and positioning at the forward endeared him to the hearts of the spectators.

El Kanemi Warriors’ hunger for victory was evident in the five minutes of the match when they deployed their attacks to the front of their opponent- Abia Warriors, earning a penalty shootout.

Salihu rose to take the penalty but was denied by Abia Warriors goalkeeper Ali Ishaku who calmly palmed the ball away.

After twenty-five minutes, El-Kanemi Warriors took the lead through Salihu, breaking the silence in the stadium.

The goal propelled Abia Warriors to awake from their sleep, seeking to restore parity but all their attempts proved abortive till the end of the first half.

The resumption of the second half saw Abia Warriors’ determination to level the score but their attempt met the resilience of the El Kanemi Warriors defence.

But in the 61st minutes, Salihu doubled the lead after his low drive found the back of the net, sparking wild jubilation that saw the fans encroachment into the pitch. The goal secured victory for the club, earning N50 million as well as representing Nigeria in the CAF Confederation Cup next season.

Earlier, the women’s final was the contest between Rivers Angels against Naija Ratel which ended 1-0 in favour of the former.

The victory extended Rivers Angels’ titles to ninth in a row while ending a six-year drought.

The match saw Rivers Angels player Blessing Okpe give her the lead after she converted from the spot at the death of the first half.

At the resumption of the second half, Blessing Okpe who was voted as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) had an opportunity to double the lead but the goalkeeper denied her effort.

At the end of the match, Rivers Angels were crowned champion, smiling home with N25 million naira.

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