Reigning champions Bayelsa Queens of Yenagoa on Friday defeated Rivers Angels 1-0 in their final group A game at the ongoing NWFL Super Six in Asaba.
A fifth minute penalty kick converted by Glory Edet in the first half ensured victory for the winners, in a game characterised by rough tackles.
The game, which many spectators in the stadium described as a final before the final, started on a high note.
Bayelsa Queens dominated ball possession and mounted pressure on the Rivers Angels’ backline.
The pressure eventually paid off when a Bayelsa Queens player was brought down by a Rivers Angels defender for a penalty kick perfectly converted by Edet.
On resumption of the second half, both sides made several incursions into each other’s goal area, but wasted the chances to score.
However, the game’s ugly moment came in the final minute of the added four minutes when centre referee Nurudeen Abubakar signalled the end of the game.
Rivers Angels, who were hopeful of an equaliser as they were involved in a goalmouth scramble at the Bayelsa Queens end of the pitch, were incensed.
Their contention was that the ball had gone across the goalline for the referee to award a goal.
As the referee went to pick the ball, two players of Rivers Angels approached him, questioning the decision to ignore their appeal.
As tension rose, more Rivers Angels players from the bench ran into the pitch and after the referee who ran across the pitch to the stands.
It took the intervention of security personnel in the stadium to calm down the tension as they took Abubakar into the state box end of the grand stand for protection.
Afterwards, the Technical Adviser of Bayelsa Queens, Domo Okara, who described the game as a difficult one, gave kudos to his team for the hard-fought victory.
Okara said: “This game is a difficult one for both teams.
“The teams played their hearts out, but I thank God we won today.
“As for the officiating, I commend the referee because they are humans too.
“They can make mistakes.
“I don’t like criticising match officials.”
The players and officials of Rivers Angels could not be reached for comments as they walked away and shunned media interviews to protest what they saw as bad officiating.