…as IAUE Minders defeat DELSU Titans 2:3 away

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”.

In his reaction, Principal Coach of DELSU Titans, Lucky Ajaino explained that “we lost to some tactical decisions that we did not make on time but we will ensure that we correct that before the return leg in Port Harcourt”.

In other matches, EKSU Mountaineers from Ekiti State University defeated FUOYE Dazzlers 1-0 in a local derby. KASU Crocs from Kaduna State University lost at home to ATBU Braveheart 0-2 with goals from Isah Idris and Simeon Habka in the 8th and 85th minutes. HiFL maiden champion UAM Tillers also lost at home to UNILORIN Warriors with a lone goal from Mustapha Ogungbenro in the 14th minute.

The first round of the return leg of the matches comes up on August 10. BUK Stallions needs a goalless draw at home to oust defending champions UNIMAID Desert Warriors while UNN Lions will seek to consolidate their two goals advantage as they battle UNIPORT Sharks in Port Harcourt. AAUA Luminaries stands ousted from this year’s competition except they can overturn a two-goal home loss that they suffered when they tackle LASU Blazers in Lagos while KSU Steelers will stoop to conquer at home in their clash against FUTMinna Transformers after recording a 2-2 draw in Minna.