In a tough final, the Makurdi side defeated their Calabar counterparts on penalties to emerge victors of the maiden edition of the collegiate games
University of Agriculture, Makurdi are the Higher Institutions Football Legaue champions after defeating University of Calabar 5-4 on penalties which succeeded a goalless stalemate at the Agege Stadium, Lagos.
UAM Tillers started the game on the front foot, with their skipper Ebuka David at the thick of the action but the Okorie Okechukwu-led defence stood resilient.
The Malabites hit back with attacking midfielder Abate Terkuma running the show but both sides lacked the cutting edge and failed to match the spectators’ vibes.
The first 45 minutes ended a dull affair; in stark contrast to the second interval which sparked to life after top scorer David whipped in a fantastic left-wing free-kick. The quality effort, however, was met by an outstanding acrobatic save from Okechukwu.
Forty could have made UNICAL pay for poor defending but the eight-goal striker’s effort left much to be desired before UAM goalkeeper Toradza Terungwa made a point-blank save to deny Malabites a goal from corner kick.
UNICAL had four consecutive attempts on goal as they took control of the game, but their finishes on each occasion lacked the quality to test Terungwa.
With time running out and UAM on the counter-attack, a recovering Malabite defender cleared out left-back Joseph Clement’s cross intended for an unmarked Ebuka.
With both sides tied at 0-0 after regulation time, the game went into penalty shoot-outs.
Prince Imo’s effort – UNICAL’s third – was superbly thwarted by Terungwa and UAM Tillers captain David converted the decisive kick to hand the Makurdi outfit the maiden HiFL trophy.
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VICTORY IS SWEET!
Earlier, OAU Giants defeated UNILORIN Warriors 3-1 to place third in the collegiate competition.