LASU, UI draw, UNILAG, DELSU win as HiFL 2022 begins across Nigeria
The 2022 Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) got off to a thrilling start on Tuesday with matches played across five centres. HiFL is an initiative of Pace Sports Entertainment and Marketing Limited in collaboration with the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) and sponsored by StanbicIBTC, Bold and the Lagos State Internal Revenue Services.
In the match played at the Lagos State University Sports Complex, Lagos State University team, LASU Blazers, played to a 1-1 draw with the UI Pioneers from the University of Ibadan.
The UI Pioneers took an early lead and scored the opening goal through a penalty in the fourth minute after a rash challenge from one of the Blazers defenders. Ijimakinwa Oluwakayode of the Pioneers took the penalty and sent the Blazer’s keeping in the wrong direction.
The Blazers did not wait too long to equalize the game through a goal from Opeyemi Tokede in the 13th minute after a good run of pressure on the Pioneer’s defence. Tokede in jersey number 14 scored with a screamer from outside the 18-yard box.
The two teams were very balanced in the game as they showed impressive touches and created chances to have shots on target to signal their intentions to win the game.
Speaking after the game, Coach of LASU Blazers, Omosaiye Thompson, thanked the organisers for the laudable initiative in helping to bring together students from different parts of the country and allowing them to showcase their talents every year.
Omosaiye said, “although we got a point from this game, with good home support and the quality preparation put in by my team, we expect to win our next game.
We had many scoring chances that were not utilised. We will work that part of our game to progress into the round of 16.”
In his reaction, Coach of UI Pioneers, Eduviere Allen, said he was impressed with the game’s outcome and praised his boys for playing to his instruction.
He promised to improve their performance to qualify for the next round, saying, “my team is here to make a statement.”
In the second match played at the centre, OOU Gatekeepers from Olabisi Onabanjo University came from behind to win the FUOYE Dazzlers from Federal University of Oye-Ekiti by 2-1 and took the lead in the group. Uthman Teslim gave the FUOYE fans something to celebrate in the 57th minute before Olabode Samuel and Olusukanmi Oluwasegun scored in the 63rd and 64th minutes to take the game past the FUOYE boys.
In other centres, UNILAG Marines defeated ABUAD Stars by 3-1, BUK Stallions defeated UNIJOS Highlanders 1-0; UAM Tillers played a goalless draw with the team from Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University while DELSU Titans beat the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun 7-2. The Group games that started on Tuesday will end on Sunday, June 26.