By Monica Iheakam
Kogi State University KSU over the weekend became the first state owned University to win the prestigious Higher Institutions Football League HiFL championship after defeating Federal University of Oye-Ekiti FUOYE 3-1 at the finals on Saturday.
Both teams shared the spoils as the first half of the proceedings at the YABA College of Technology Sports Center ended 1-1.
On resumption of the second half, Samuel Odutola put the Kogi State Steelers in the front with his brace, while Captain Suliemon Mohamed sealed the victory for the Kogi side to end the game at 3-1.
Enroute to Saturday’s finals, KSU Steelers qualified for the semi-finals after defeating the BUK Stallions from Bayero University Kano 4-3 via penalty shootout in the quarterfinals with the game locked at 2-2 in full time.
They went ahead to muscle out Unilorin Warriors 1-0 to get to the finals.
FUOYE Dazzlers qualified to play in the finals following the ouster of DELSU Titans on technical grounds. During their quarter-final game with LASU Blazers, the Dazzlers escaped by the whiskers after the Blazers came back from 2-0 to level the game 2-2 in the nick of time.
UNN Lions from University of Nigeria, Nsukka defeated UNILORIN Warriors by a lone goal to clinch the bronze medal for the third place match.
Lawrence Echere scored the only goal of the encounter in the second half.
University of Agriculture Makurdi won the inaugural edition of the championship in 2018.
HiFL, an annual football tournament organised by PACE Sports and Entertainment Limited, is aimed at getting higher educational institutions in Nigeria together in a competition that has produced champions.