Nasarawa Amazons of Lafia have received praise for Nasarawa State deputy governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, following the team’s victory over Rives Angels of Port Harcourt in this year’s Women’s Federation Cup final yesterday in Kaduna.
Akabe, who led a delegation that included former deputy governors, commissioners, legislators and council chairmen, said The Amazons will surely be rewarded, as they return to Lafia with a gift to celebrate 100 days in office for the governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Sule.
Sunday’s feat put a stop to The Garden Angels’ long held domination of the cup, and gave the Lafia-based Amazons their first ever feel of the trophy, after coming close twice before.
Both teams battled to a goalless draw in regulation time with penalties needed to determine the winner of the contest at the jam-packed arena in The City of Crocodiles, where the men’s final held immediately after.
Rivers Angels dominated possession, but were unable to find a way past a resolute Nasarawa Amazons defence, and the underdogs then turned the table by claiming a 5-4 penalty shootout win against the champions.
Nigerian female national team, Super Falcons goalkeeper, Tochukwu Oluehi, who replaced her international teammate, Chiamaka Nnadozie on the dot of 90 minutes, failed to make a save in the shootout, during which Nasarawa Amazons scored all their five kicks, while River Angels converted four, with one failing to go in, thereby giving away the trophy.
The winning team, though, had been motivated heavily days before the final, as Nasarawa State governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Sule’s senior special assistant on youth development and non-governmental organizations, Kwanta Yakubu said the delegation was specially detailed to motivate the players into emerging champions.
He added that, aside the massive turnout of government officials for the encounter, the state government also pledged to reward the Amazons once they lift the trophy, considering the progress they have made.
Yakubu said: “(It is a delegation of) critical stakeholders to cheer the team to victory.
“This is because of the importance the state government has placed on the Aiteo Cup final.
“As you are very much aware, Nasarawa Amazons has been making the state and entire Northern Nigeria proud as they are the only team from the entire northern region that has made progress in women’s football.
“(They are) assured of great packages readily available for them, but I don’t want to disclose it for now. I am assuring them, everybody will smile.”