BY DUSTAN AGHEDO, Lagos
Despite Green White Green Sports Centre Ltd (GWG) warning to universities and other higher institutions of learning against partaking in the Higher Institutions Football League (HIFL), the competition kicked off with an exciting qualifying round of matches across the five centers on Tuesday.
In Lagos, the Lagos State University (LASU) whose venue is the host center for the total six teams in Zone C witnessed their team, LASU Blazers, succumb to a 1-nil upset at the hands of their derby counterparts, the University of Lagos’ UNILAG Marines.
UNILAG Marines, looking to put the woes of the previous editions behind them having never gone past the preliminary rounds, top the group with 3points as they hope to consolidate on that victory going into the next fixture against LAUCTECH Warriors on Thursday. Earlier, the game between ABUAD Stars and FUTA Tigers ended in a 1-1 draw.
In Zone B, both FUTMINNA Transformers and ABU Nobles sealed their place in the round of 16 with the former winning 3-1 on penalty shoot outs to top the group following a goalless stalemate at full-time, after BSU Weavers and FULOKOJA failed to show up.
Elsewhere, UNIBEN Royals extended its home run in the history of the league after condemning AAUA Luminaries to a 2-0 victory at the university’s sport complex. In the same Zone D, NDU Oilers and FUOYE Dazzlers ended in a 1-1 draw. In Uyo, UNIUYO Tuskites put 5 past UNIZIK Cardinals, while the match between UNN Warriors and FUNAI Hawks ended 2-0 in favour of the Warriors, in Zone E. The match between UNIMAID Desert Warriors and ATBU Bravehearts match produced a five-goal thriller as Desert Warriors edged that one 3-2 in Zone A where the other fixture in the group saw BUK Stallions and KUST Pyramid share the spoils with a goalless draw.
Speaking on the games, director, PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Mr Sola Fijabi said “It feels good to have these young people back doing what they like to do best. As a company, we are determined to provide avenues for Nigerian youths to put their energy into good use, to add value to themselves and society. We thank the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) for partnering with us and indeed our esteemed sponsors for supporting the actualisation of this dream which has become a reality and now in its third active season, following its inception in 2018.”