University of Nigeria football team, UNN Lions, has knocked out high-flying UNIBEN Royals from playing in the semi-finals in the ongoing Higher Institution Football League (HiFL) despite losing by 1-0 to the Royals. The Lions edge the Coach Onome Komi led Royals on a 2-1 goals aggregate having won their home game 2-0 at Nsukka. Odor Daniel scored the only goal for the Royals in the 42nd minute through a penalty kick. Further attempts by the Royals to score the second goal that would have pushed the game into an extra time were frustrated by a determined Lions defence led by Emeka Alex. It would be recalled that the UNIBEN Royals dumped out defending champion UNICAL Malabites when both teams clashed at the quarterfinal stage.
In his reaction, Chief Strategy Officer at Pace Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Goodness Onyejiaku expressed delight regarding the standard of the match stating that: “with the display of these young people, the future of football and indeed the Nigerian sports scene is bright. We appreciate our partners including NUGA, StanbicIBTC, Nivea Men, Bold and Minimie for making it possible for us to keep exposing these talents weekly. The fact that we are going to have a brand new winner of the competition this year makes it more interesting and we are all looking forward to the Super Four clash soon.”
Meanwhile, in the game played at the University of Maiduguri Sports Complex, UNIMAID Desert Warriors, led by Coach Dauda Daniel, defeated 2018 champions UAM Tillers by 3-0 to qualify for the semi-finals on a 3-1 goals aggregate. The Borno Boys pegged the Tillers to their half from the beginning of the match pilling numerous attacks on the Priscilla Vande led team. Stanbic Man-of-the-Match, Usman Sani eventually found the back of the net in the 16th minute before Sulieman Ali Salah added the second in the 41st minute. In the second half, the Tillers went in search of the one goal needed to oust their host on the away goals rule but their hope was ruined in the 88th minute when Oche Francis scored the third goal for the Desert Warriors.
In the game played at Akungba, AAUA Luminaries qualified for the next round through a penalty kick scored by Abiodun Ogundeji in the 100th minute of the extra-time. This would be the first time that UNIMAID Desert Warriors, UNN Lions and the AAUA Luminaries would qualify for the semi-finals of the HiFL.