Niger Tornadoes of Minna striker, Yusuf Olayinka has declared that he and his teammates gave their best and tried all they could to win the Federation Cup final at Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, but says they were all disappointed that their efforts were not just good enough.
Olayinka stressed that the team did everything humanly possible to win the match against Kano Pillars, as they even arrived in Kaduna a week to Sunday’s game, but lamented that luck was against them, as they lost on penalties’ kicks, after battling to a goalless draw at regulation time.
He went on to declare during Mega Sports on Star 101.5 FM, Lagos that everyone in the club is disappointed that they again lost in the final, as was the case against Akwa United of Uyo in 2017, after last winning the cup in the year 2000, where he says has been forgotten by their fans.
The Tornadoes’ attacker, however, acknowledged that they are picking positives from the fact that they have already qualified for the CAF Confederations Cup, as Kano Pillars already picked the country’s first ticket for the same competition by emerging third in the league.
Consequently, Olayinka says he and his colleagues will now turn their focus fully on preparations for the continental terrain, where he says they hope to make a huge impression this year and end the season on a high.
While Tornadoes lost their third FA Cup final in history, Pillars wrote a different story, as they recorded a first-ever FA Cup triumph by winning 4-3 on penalties after there were no goals in regulation time.
Pillars’ skipper Rabiu Ali, Bature Yaro, Victor Dennis and Emmanuel Anyanwu converted penalties for Sai Masu Gida, while Ayo Adetola of Niger Tornadoes missed the decisive kick in sudden death.
However, resolute defending by Niger Tornadoes as well as a brilliant form show by their goalkeeper and captain, Mustapha Aliko combined to ensure no goals were scored after 90 minutes of action, which Olayinka says confirmed that the Minna-based side worked hard for the final.
Olayinka added: “We really tried to win this match, but our efforts were not just good enough.
“We wanted to win the final. We started training early in Kaduna, where we were for one week, but we lost the final by penalties.
“We are disappointed, but not disgraced, because nobody gave us any chance of getting this far in the first place.
“All the same, we will still play in he CAF Confederations Cup. Now we have to start thinking about doing well. We thank God for everything.”