The University of Maiduguri Football team, UNIMAID Desert Warriors will attempt to qualify for the Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) Super Four for the first time when they confront the UAM Tillers from the University of Markurdi in the quarter-finals of this year’s competition.
Winner of the maiden edition of the league, UAM Tillers defeated the ABU Nobles in both legs to qualify on a 4-2 goals aggregate. The Tillers needed a 93rd minute goal from Joseph Clement to seal the win as a second goal from the Nobles in Markurdi would have pushed the game into an extra time. The Desert Warriors had earlier qualified in the same manner defeating the BUK Stallions in both legs on a 5-3 goals aggregate.
In Ilorin, UNILORIN Warriors wrapped their qualification to the quarter-finals when they defeated KSU Steelers by a lone goal scored by Fashanu Michael in the 78th minute. An extra-time was almost looming at the centre before Fashanu, who also scored the equalizer in Kogi, capitalized on a counter-attack following KSU Steelers failed attempt at goal.
The game between UNN Lions and the IAUE Minders in Enugu ended 1-0 in favour of the Lions. The Minders who were playing away put up a strong resistance but could not foil the Lions attack which resulted in a goal scored by Ifeanyi Alex in the 60th minute. In Lagos, the UNILAG Marines qualified with a 3-0 aggregate win over the FUTA Tigers.
In his reaction, Chief Strategy Officer at Pace Sports, Mr Goodness Onyejiaku acknowledged the support of sponsors and partners that have continued to give Nigerian youths greater opportunities to excel in both academics and other recreational activities. “most players always look forward to becoming the StanbicIBTC Man-of-the-Match. Other sponsors like Nivea Men, Minimie and Bold also regularly provide good incentives that have served as motivations for all the teams that are participating in the league. Generally, we have enjoyed an atmosphere of games played in a very friendly manner with fantastic support from the school authorities. We hope to maintain this spirit of sportsmanship as long as we can” Onyejiaku said.
In the other quarter-final fixtures, UNILAG Marines will square up against the AAUA Luminaries from the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba. UNIBEN Royals will play against UNN Lions in an attempt to qualify for the Super Four of the HiFL for the first time while the North Central derby will see UNILORIN Warriors tackle FUTMINNA Transformers.