Niger Tornadoes will play in the final of this year’s Aiteo Cup after edging Cup holders FC Ifeanyiubah on 4-3 aggregate despite suffering a one-nil defeat in Nnewi in the second leg, semi-finals on Thursday.
Godwin Obaje scored the winner of the game on the day for FC Ifeanyiubah which proved insufficient at the end.
FC Ifeanyiubah needed two goals in the all Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) semi-final clash to reach back-to-back final but Tornadoes made it difficult for them all afternoon in the match.
Tornadoes goalkeeper Mustapha Aliko was in fine form as well as he denied Isaac Loute from curling in a free kick in the early minutes.
The Minna club sure had their plan well hatched as they covered every blade of the grass and made sure that the Cup holders were limited with scoring chances especially in the opening half.
Fifteen minutes to time, FC Ifeanyiubah thought they had broken the deadlock in the game as Solomon Nsude turned in Loute’s free kick but his celebration was caught short by the flag of second assistant referee.
However the Anambra Warriors finally got their goal five minutes to the end when Obaje converted from the spot past Aliko after Bright Onyedikachi was fouled in the box by Hussaini Isah.
Tornadoes will now play in only their third Cup final after 1982 and 2000 when they beat Rangers for their first triumph. The Minna club now await the winners of Akwa United or Sunshine Stars.
Akwa United will play hosts to Sunshine Stars in the second leg, semi-finals in Uyo this Sunday. Sunshine Stars won the first leg 1-0 through Ajibola Otegbeye’s goal.
On Wednesday, Rivers Angels progressed past Bayelsa Queens in the women’s competition on 6-2 aggregate after winning the second leg, semi-finals by 4-0 in Port Harcourt.
Second half goals by Gladys Akpa, Evelyn Nwabuoku and a double by Amarachi Ojinma ended Bayelsa Queeens’ aspiration of reaching the Cup final.
The other women’s semi-finals is still on hold as Abia Angels earlier disqualified from the competition appealed the sanction over the use of ineligible players against Confluence Queens in the quarter-finals.
Ibom Angels will meet one of Abia Angels or Confluence Queens once the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Appeals Committee decides on the matter in the coming days.
© The Predictor