2014 Federation Cup: El-Kanemi qualify for Round of 16

Speaking after the match, El-Kanemi Warriors’ coach, Salisu Yusuf, exuded confidence about the Maiduguri club’s ability to spring more surprises

El-Kanemi Warriors Football Club of Maiduguri, Borno State on Friday in Abuja beat Abia Warriors FC of Umuahia 1-0 to qualify for the Round 16 of the 2014 Federation Cup.
In the match played at the FIFA Goal Project pitch of the Abuja National Stadium, Ifeanyi Mathew scored the lone goal after 19 minutes of the game.
Speaking after the match, El-Kanemi Warriors’ coach, Salisu Yusuf, exuded confidence about the Maiduguri club’s ability to spring more surprises.
Yusuf told newsmen he was happy with the way the match went, saying his players deserved commendation for the victory.
He said: “I must commend my boys for putting up a very good performance and I also believe that they would have performed better if not for the fasting.
“But I must say it was a very difficult match, because most of my players are fasting and they did not play up to my expectations.
“However, I really appreciate their efforts and I want them to continue with this same spirit so that we can triumph in the Round 16.”
On his part, coach Ladan Bosso of Abia Warriors, while speaking at the end of the match, expressed disappointment at his team’s loss.
Bosso however said he and his players learnt a lot from the game, even though the players performed below expectations.
He said: “They are new players and this is just like their first or second match.
“This is because the players we earlier registered for the competition were not on ground and we had to use these available players.
“However, I must say that El-Kanemi Warriors do not deserve to win this match.
“They were just lucky to win this match.”
In another match, Sharks FC of Port Harcourt beat Heartland FC of Owerri by one goal to nil.
The match was played at the FIFA Goal Project pitch of National Stadium, Abuja on Friday.
The encounter, which was a battle of two Nigeria Professional Football League sides, started with both teams playing with caution as no one wanted to concede a goal.
But the Port Harcourt side broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute when Ifeanyi Inyam tipped in a rebound from a free-kick right at the edge of the 18-yard box.
Their Owerri based opponent, however, piled more pressure in the second half but could not make good use of the chances just like the potential winner lost many scoring chances.
Heartland FC, however, got a blow towards the end of the match when their Technical Adviser, Kelechi Emeteole, was sent off the pitch in the 88th minute for insulting the Centre Referee.
Emeteole declined to speak with newsmen after the match.
The Technical Adviser of Sharks FC, Olugbenga Ogunbote, however, berated his team for failing to convert their scoring chances.
Ogunbote told newsmen after the match that his team nearly paid for missing scoring chances and may not be lucky the next time.
He said: “It was a good and tough game because we had two premier league sides.
“Of course one should expect tension in such game.
“But we give glory to God, even though we were wasteful, because we would have wrapped up the game in the first half.
“So, we need to try as much as possible to work on our finishing so that we can do it right, but the fact is that we might not be lucky next time.
“But we will just try as much as possible, because you can never have a perfect team.”
According to Ogunbote, we will work on the gray areas that we have seen, so that next time we will take our chances.
The Sharks technical adviser said that the team’s focus was now on their Round of 16 match.
He said: “Everything at this stage is tough, but right now, we are only thinking of the next match.
“So our focus has now shifted to the Round of 16.
“But I still chose to refer to the Federation Cup as the Challenge Cup, as it was previously referred to, because it is full of surprises.”