Rivers Angels Retire Federation Cup Trophy …Enyimba Douses Wolves’ Ambition
Rivers state darling football
club, Rivers Angels FC last Sunday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos won the women’s 2013 Federation Cup title, courtesy of a commanding 3-0 victory over Nasarawa Amazons.
The victory marked the fourth time, the third on the trot the Angels would be winning the title after triumphing in 2011and 2012. As a result, they have now won the trophy for keeps.
The women’s final kicked off a memorable 68th edition of the Federation Cup which also had Enyimba International FC of Aba contesting the men’s version against Warri Wolves of Delta state.
Apparently motivated by a pre-match pep talk by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Mrs Comfort Nwihioka, which assured them that the government and people of Rivers State were behind them, and Governor Amaechi’s commitment to rewarding success, the Angels turned on the style to rout the Amazons.
A final that kicked off with a promise of a keen contest, owing to the Amazons’ initial enterprise tapered to a one- sided affair after Gloria Ofoegbu put the Angels ahead in the 45th minute.
On resumption of the second half, Angels further proved their class by dominating proceedings. Elizabeth Addo made it 2-0 in the 58th minute to take the game beyond their opponents, while Ofoegbu grabbed her brace and Angels’ third goal in the 82nd minute to throw their camp into celebration.
In the men’s final, it was a perfect advertisement for Nigerian domestic football as Enyimba and Wolves lived up to their pre- match hype. Both clubs played exquisite football to the admiration of the spectators.
In deed, the final promised to be an attraction as supporters of the clubs struggled to out do each other in colourful demonstration of support for their respective teams. As hostilities began, it was Enyimba that that thrilled with good possession and flair. Warri Wolves, however took the lead in each half, only for the Peoples Elephant(Enyimba) to draw level twice to take the game to penalty shootout.
The ensued shootout saw Super Eagles defender, Azubuike Egwuekwe miss his kick to hand the title to Enyimba 4-5 on penalties.
While Enyimba and their fans celebrated with the usual Enyimba – Enyi song, Wolves’ players mourned the loss of mouth watering largesse, one 2013 toyota Avensis car, each player and two weeks all expenses paid tour of France and one million naira per goal, promised them by the Delta state government.
Other highlights of the final were the honour and recognition given to some of the veterans of the Federation Cup, Muda Lawal, Amusa Shittu, Paul Hamilton, Sebastian Brodericks-Imasuen,Jossy Dombraye,Joe Erico, Toyin Ayinla, Stanley Eguma, Dominc Iorfa and Walter Oyatogun, and the unveiling of the media tribune dedicated to late commentators, Chief Ishola Folorunsho and Ernest Okonkwo by Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fashola.
AATF President Lauds Aruna’s Performance At WTT In Singapore
President of Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, has commended Quadri Aruna for his exploits at the just-ended World Table Tennis (WTT) Singapore Smash.
Aruna made it to the quarterfinals of the Grand Smash series in Singapore, beating some top seeds on the way to becoming the first African to reach that stage at the WTT.
Remarkable was the Nigerian top seed’s defeat of Japanese star, Tomokazu Harimoto, who had beaten Aruna on three occasions. The Nigerian eventually fell 4-0 to the superiority power of World number four, Brazil’s Hugo Calderano.
For reaching the quarterfinals in Singapore, Aruna will earn 350 ranking points, which will also raise his rating at the next ranking by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
El-Salhy stated that the Nigerian has continued to set the pace for Africa at the Olympics, World Championships and now WTT.
“Congratulations for your fantastic show-up in Singapore, especially for the great win in the round of 16 against Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto to qualify for the quarterfinal.
“I will like just to pass to you my full appreciation on behalf of the ATTF Executive Council (EC) as the main ambassador of African table tennis in ITTF super events. We wish you to continue to make the continent proud and a great ambassador of your country and Africa,” he said.
Again, Aruna has been picked to compete in the world elite table tennis stars, WTT Champions $800,000 prize money in Xinxiang, China next month.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Para Table Tennis team arrived from Italy, yesterday, where it featured at the ITTF Lignano Masters Para Open 2023. The team won two silver and bronze medals.
As NFF Denies Allegation
The Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) may clash with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) following the ‘sack’ of Super Eagles’ assistant coaches, Finidi George and goalkeepers’ trainer, Ike Shorunmu.
The duo were barred from Super Eagles’ camp, allegedly, on the request of head coach, Jose Peseiro, as the team prepares for Friday’s 2023 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea Bissau at the MKO Stadium, Abuja.
The NFF, has however, denied the sack saying: “As part of cost-cutting measures instituted at the beginning of the new administration, we established a rotation policy among the assistant coaches, based on the high number, which was agreed with all of them. The last time that the team had a programme, Mr. Finidi George was the person who travelled for the friendly match in Portugal. This rotation policy is only for matches. When there is a tournament, all of them will be with the team.”
The Federation claimed that Finidi knew he would not be in the team for the games against Guinea Bissau, saying that the current trip is for Usman Abdallah.
“The other person, who could have been contending, Mr. Salisu Yusuf, has been sent to the U23 team. There was no victimisation, sleight of hand or any disrespect meant to our illustrious ex-international players.
“The case of goalkeepers’ trainer, Ike Shorounmu, is somewhat peculiar, as the former Nigerian goalkeeper showed a clear lack of desire to be in camp for the matches against Guinea Bissau.
CAFCC: Rivers United Secures Quarter Final Ticket, Eyes Trophy
Nigeria representative in CAF Confederation Cup Football competition, Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt, has secured one of the quarter final tickets in the competition with a game left in the group stage.
Rivers United, the Pride of Rivers, as fondly called, on Sunday at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, forced their visitors, Motema Pembe of DR Congo to a 2-2 draw to top group B, with ten points.
This is the first time in history, United has reached the quarter final stage of the competition and vowed to make the State proud by bringing the trophy home.
In his post match interview, the technical manager of Rivers United, Stanley Eguma, said the game was a tough one, saying that their opponents have the permutation that if they win there are chances for them to qualify.
“ The game was a very tough one because our opponents have the permutation that if they win us, they have chances to qualify, that is why I was not surprised when they scored the first goal but I thank my players for showing a good character in the second half and went ahead and unfortunately they equalised.
“ In the dressing room, I have to talk to players to boost their morales. I commend our opponents for their impressive performance , they are a good side”, Eguma said.
Also speaking, the Coach of Motema Pembe, Tumba Mukanda Djene, attributed the draw to poor officiating, saying that referee was really against his side.
As it is, Rivers United top group B with ten points, three goals advantage over ASEC Mimosas that also has ten points but one goal advantage.
Rivers United will play her last game with ASEC Mimosas April 2nd, in Ivory Coast, but draw or win will make United finish top.
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