Nasarawa beat Enyimba in Ibadan to qualify for Sunday's Federation Cup final
Saturday Nov 05, 2016. 17:09
Nigeria premier league clubs FC IfeanyiUbah and Nasarawa United will be gunning for their first-ever major trophy Sunday when they take centre stage in the final of the 2016 Federation Cup.
Cup triumph will qualify either team for next year’s CAF Confederation Cup after both of them failed to place among the top three teams in the league.
IfeanyiUbah Cameroonian midfielder Tamen Medrano, who has played every single Federation Cup match for ‘The Anambra Warriors’ this year, was bullish of cup victory inside the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
“We are very focused on winning the trophy and so far preparations have gone very well,” he said.
“I can say that the mood in camp is that of unity and sense of purpose.
“We are on a mission, which is to win the Federation Cup.
“Personally, every day I wake up, I look at the picture of the trophy on my phone, it motivates me, and I can tell you my teammates are very motivated too.
“We will do our very best to win the trophy.”
Ivorian forward Seka Pascal and the Brazilian Alberico Da Silva are all available for Sunday’s final after returning from injuries.
However, the Nnewi club will be missing Eagles goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Kojo Baah, Isaac Loute, Chijioke Alakwe, Chijioke Ejiogu, Tope Orelope, Adah Stephen, Akide Ibrahim, who are all cup tied.
To reach this cup final, the Billionaire club were some 90 seconds to a penalty shootout against armature side Ebony United in the 1st round.
After creating tonnes of chances but failed to convert, the club finally scored deep into stoppage time thanks to Bello Koformata. The rest is history like they say.
Their wins over Katsina United in the Round of 16, Warri Wolves in quarterfinal and Crown FC in the semifinal were all marred by controversies.
Nasarawa, who have enjoyed a superiority over their opponents in the league, have been lifted by their deserved win over Enyimba in the semi-final.
Club boss Isaac Danladi said they are the hungrier of the two teams as the cup will offer them another chance to play international football after they crashed out of this year’s CAF Confederation Cup.
This is our chance to win the cup after we crashed out in the quarterfinal two years ago and the semi-finals the previous year,” said the Nasarawa chairman, who won the club promotion in 2011.
“We hope to take the trophy back to Lafia to the people of Nasarawa State.”
In striker Abdulrahman Bashir and goal-scoring midfielder Esosa Igbinoba they have two proven match winners.
By Kola Daniel in Lagos