FC Ifeanyi Ubah on Sunday made history as it became the first club side from Anambra State to win the Nigeria Federation Cup.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah, founded in 2015, also became the youngest club to win the Nigerian Federation Cup – after barely two years in existence.
The Anambra Warriors, as they are also called, achieved this enviable feat at the expense of Nasarawa United whom they defeated 5-4 on a penalty shoot-out in the tension-soaked final match played at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, was quick to commend the Club for the great honour it has brought to the state and to Ndi Anambra as a whole.
The highly entertaining encounter saw both teams approach the game with caution as they avoided making any careless mistakes that could cost them the match.
As the game progressed, FCIU took over the control of the game and created several scoring opportunities but poor marksmanship in front of goal was their undoing as the first half ended goalless.
At the resumption of the second half, FCIU upped their game as they continued to search for the lead but they found the defence of Nasarawa United hard to crack.
It was however a topsy-turvy game throughout the second half as both sides tried to score the winning goal. The centre referee sounded the final whistle to end the game at 0-0 in 90 minutes, forcing the encounter to be decided by a penalty shootout.
Ikechukwu Ezenwa of FCIU became the hero of the match in the penalty shootout as he saved Nasarawa United’s second penalty kick.
The Ifeanyi Ubah boys scored all their five penalty kicks, with
Wilson Elu, Alberico Da Silva and Maduawuchi Okereke being among the takers.
On the other hand, Nasarawa United’s Emmanuel opened his side’s penalty goal after a retaken shot beat goalkeeper Ezenwa.
After making history yesterday as the youngest football club in Nigeria to win a continental ticket, the Proprietor of FC Ifeanyi Ubah, Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, told its fans that the club will put up a good representation in the CAF Confederations Cup.
Speaking after he received the Federation Cup trophy, an elated Ubah insisted that he is yet to meet his target with the club, stressing that the team will now concentrate on proving to be a worthy ambassador of the country in African football.
He noted that the Nnewi-based club will re-position to battle for the challenges of playing at the continental level.
“We fought hard for today’s victory and it is not going to end here. We are not done yet with our target as far as this club is concerned. We will commence preparations immediately for both the new season and the Confederation’s Cup,” he said.
Dogo blames defeat on inexperienced attackers
Nasarawa United Chief Coach, Kabiru Dogo, yesterday blamed his players for the 5-4 loss to FC Ifeanyi Ubah.
Dogo, who spoke after the match, regretted that his players failed to utilize their chances, especially during the second half.
An angry Dogo insisted that his players were shy in front of their opponent’s goalpost.
“We lost the game at regulation time. Penalty is not the true picture of a team. My boys lost several opportunities in the long half, when the FC Ifeanyi Ubah collapsed totally in the second half. Our attackers were not experienced. We had no reason to drag the game to penalties when we had several chances to take the day”, the coach lamented.