The winner of the 2018 edition of the Higher Institutions Football League (HIFL), the University of Agriculture Makurdi (UAM), felt the pains of losing in the final on Saturday in Lagos.
They lost to their 2018 victims, the University of Calabar (Unical).
UniCal defeated UAM 5-4 after a penalty kicks shootout, following a 1-1 draw, to win the 2019 HIFL League.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2019 final match played at the Agege Stadium was however different from the 2018 final which ended 0-0 at the end of regulation time.
This time, UAM drew the first blood early in the first half through the tournament’s highest goalscorer, Asen Shater, in the sixth minute.
The game, however, took a twist when UAM’s Anikyongu Doolymun, was awarded a red card for a second bookable offence.
UniCal got a well-deserved equaliser in the 57th minute, leading to the match being decided by penalty kicks, just as it was in 2018.
UniCal’s coach, Jimoh Moshudi, later said their performance in the final underscored their mental strength and desire to overcome last year’s loss.
“We had to tell ourselves the truth during the match, that it was a match that we wanted to win to keep our heads up.
“Our victory was well-deserved, as the UAM team were not better than us. We are champions and we deserve it,” he said.
NAN reports that the competition’s third-place match between Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) ended 4-3 in favour of UNILORIN after regulation time play ended 0-0.
It was however another repeat of last year’s third-place match as both teams had also played the third-place match then, and the 2018 winners emerging losers this time around.
NAN reports that the HiFL was organised by Pace Sports and Entertainment Ltd.
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