Quarter-final games in the ongoing Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) kicked off to an interesting start with games across four centres in the country.
In Lagos, the UNILAG Marines played a goalless draw with the AAUA Luminaries from Akungba. The game which was played at the Lagos State University Sports Complex lived up to its billing with several goal mouth squabbles. Goalkeeper of the Luminaries, Isaac Phillip put up a superlative performance to deter the striking duo of Onitolo Jamiu and Salau Opeyemi of the Marines. The Luminaries had a goal ruled out in the 60th minute for off-side while Opeyemi of the Marines also hit the upright late in the second half as Abdul-Khalil Nurudeen of the AAUA Luminaries was voted as the StanbicIBTC Man-of-the-Match.
Speaking after the game Coach Macpherson Ogunsemore of the Marines expressed satisfaction at the performance of his wards and promised to rectify the mistakes noticed in the game before the second leg. “It was a tough match and we played against a good side. It is the game of football, but we have an advantage now because they (AAUA Luminaries) will be under pressure when we meet next week. We will do all we can to qualify because we aim to play in the semi-finals and hopefully the final” Ogunsemore said.
Meanwhile, in Enugu, UNN Lions defeated UNIBEN Royals 2-0 in a game played at the University of Nigeria Sports Complex. Stanbic Man-of-the-Match, Anichebe Elvis scored a brace for the Lions in the 37th and 52nd minutes. The high scoring Royals which knocked out defending champions UNICAL Malabites could however do nothing against the resolute defense of the Lions.
In Markurdi, 2018 champions UAM Tillers had a narrow 1-0 win over the UNIMAID Desert Warriors from the 84th minute Aogo Okwupa. The Priscilla Vande led Tillers laboured to break a determined defense line of the Desert Warriors which ended the Round of 16 as the highest-scoring team.