Abel Eli of the IAUE Minders from the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education has recorded the first hat trick in the R-16 of the ongoing Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) season organized by Pace Sports and supported by StanbicIBTC, Bold, LIRS and Indomie Noodles in its fourth active season.
In a pulsating match played at the Delta State University of Science and Technology Sports Complex, the Minders made their intentions known early in the match with some sleek passes that gave the DELSU Titans midfielders something to worry about.
However, against the run of play, the Titans took the lead through Reginald Okonjo in the 26th minute. The Minders responded through Abel Eli in the 39th minute before Okonjo scored again in the 42nd minute to end the first half 2-1 in favour of the home team.
On resumption of the second half, the Minders turned on the heat and equalized through their talisman Eli in the 47th minute. The gallant striker finally sealed the game for the visitors with an 84th-minute goal after a fourth goal for the Minders was ruled out for an infraction.
Speaking after the match, Coach David Egbiri of the IAUE Minders praised his boys for remaining resolute against their host.
“We want to break the jinx of going out of HiFL in the round of 16. We are determined to play in the Super Four in Lagos this season and that is why we are doing everything possible this time as we remain hopeful”.
Before the game against the Titans, the Minders were camped for three weeks and Egbiri said “that shows the determination of our Vice-Chancellor and the school management regarding our desire to play in this year’s final. Playing in the final remains our target”.