BY PAUL EREWUBA
ALL roads lead to the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos today for the grand finale of this year’s men and women Federation Cup finals, as Nnewi- based FC Ifeanyi Ubah confronts Nasarawa United of Lafia in a match of debutants.
In the women’s final, League champions, Rivers Angels will trade tackles with Bayelsa Queens billed to start by 1:30pm.
To get to today’s final, Nasarawa United, nicknamed Solid Miners defeated FC Abuja 1-0 in the Round of 64, beat Go Round FC by the same margin in the Round of 32 and saw off Dynamite United also 1-0 in the Round of 16.
In the quarterfinals, the Solid Miners prevailed 4-2 on penalties over 2015 Champions, Akwa United after both teams finished 0-0 in regulation time and the Lafia boys went ahead to shocked two-time African champions, Enyimba FC 1-0 in the second semifinal in Ibadan.
FC IfeanyiUbah, nicknamed Anambra Warriors, pipped Ebonyi United 1-0 in the Round of 64 before ejecting last year’s runners-up Lobi Stars also by a lone goal in the Round of 32.
In the Round of 16, the club defeated Katsina United 2-0, the same margin of victory earned over Warri Wolves in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, they edged Crown FC 2-1 in Kaduna.
The Anambra Warriors are chasing a continental ticket, hoping to fly Nigeria’s flag in the CAF Confederation Cup next year.
Nasarawa United on their part also want to return to the continent having flown Nigeria’s flag in the CAF Confederation Cup this year. It is recalled that the Solid Miners made an early exit from the competition, but are determined to stage a return next term.
In the women’s final, Rivers Angels edged FC Robo Queens 3-2 in the first round of the women’s competition, walked over Capital City Doves in the second round and saw off Sunshine Queens 2-1 in the quarter- finals and Nasarawa Amazons 1-0 in the semifinals.
Bayelsa Queens walked over Martins White Doves in the second round, overpowered COD United Ladies 6-5 on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the quarterfinals and edged Delta Queens 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation time in the semifinals.
Both sides would play today’s final with the full compliment of their squad as Falcons handler Florence Omagbemi early this week permitted the girls in camp to go and play the final.
The Federation Cup had lasted over 70 years, and it is no doubt the oldest and most glamorous football competition in Nigeria.