16th July, 2012
El-kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri began their campaign in the Round of 16 of this year’s Federation Cup in flying colours, following their 1-0 victory over Kwara United in the opening group match played Monday afternoon at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.
Ezekiel Thompson was the match hero, as he scored the lone but crucial goal for Elkanemi in the 21st minute in an encounter watched by a scanty crowd.
Kwara United, who controlled the game before Thompson’s goal, put their opponents under pressure with daring moves, but they failed to hit target.
Kwara United’s desperation to get a goal resulted in the sending off of their player, Vincent Ogah who stamped on one of the Elkanemi players.
Other efforts put up by the Ilorin Afonja Warriors to subdue the northerners did not work, as El Kanemi’s goalkeeper, Itodo Ikor was at his best. Ikor saved several goal attempts by their opponents, keeping a clean slate for his team’s first victory at the Lagos Centre.
While El-Kanemi grabbed maximum points in the first match, the second encounter between Kano Pillars and Crown FC of Ogbomosho ended 1-1.
Rabiu Ali scored for Pillars in the 45th minute, while Bode Daniel equalised for Crown in the 61st minute of the explosive second match of the day.
The four teams contesting for the two quarter final tickets at the Agege Centre of the Federation Cup, would observe Tuesday as rest day, while they would return to
the venue for their second round group matches on Wednesday.