9th April, 2019
The 2019 FCT FA Cup competition began on Monday in Abuja with Family Worship Centre (FWC) Champions FC defeating FCT League side Democrats Football Club of Kubwa 2-1.
24 football clubs are jostling for honours and a chance to qualify for the national Cup competition, the 2019 Aiteo Cup.
The match between Nation-wide League One (NLO) clubside FWC Champions FC and Democrats FC saw the former taking the lead in an awkward fashion after only 13 minutes.
This was when Emmanuel Abba-King’s squared pass into the opponents’ penalty area at the Area 3 football pitch was deflected in by Uche Kalu for an own goal.
Striker Lukman Bello, just returning from injury, doubled the lead in the 23rd minute after placing a lovely through pass from Joel Okoro at the bottom right corner of goal.
Precious Emenike raised Democrats’ hopes of a comeback when he scored from a simple tap-in from close range after a lovely squared pass in the 56th minute.
The game was poised for a nervy end afterwards as Democrats FC went in search for the equaliser.
However, FWC Champions were up to the challenge as they contained the barrage of attacks from their opponents.
They had two clear chances of their own to put the game beyond the reach of their opponents in the closing minutes of the game.
But Bello failed to convert from the penalty kick spot, and he also fluffed his lines when he failed to score a sitter with just the goalkeeper to beat.
FWC Champions’ coach David Diran later said that his team were the better side on the day and showed more aggressiveness and willingness to win the game.
“We had an outstanding performance from the first minute. We approached the game with one mindset, to walk off as winners, and that was clear to see.
“We were familiar with our opponents’ style of play, after we met during the FCT League where both sides played out a goalless draw. But we played the better football today (Monday) and wanted the win more.
“We were sharper, more aggressive and more creative in the first half and knew that our opponents would throw everything at us in the second half and so our goal was to contain them in the later stages.
“We are excited to have won our first game and now look forward to our next game against NAF FC.
“I can assure that nothing will stop us in this competition,’’ he said.
Democrats FC manager Matthew Amali, on his part, rued his team’s missed chances, adding that they conceded very cheap goals.
“I think the first goal was very strange. The first half we didn’t start well. We didn’t have the right approach and we suffered in first 25 minutes.
“We started to play better in the second half but the early goals we conceded proved decisive as we used our second-choice goalie due to the unavailability of our first-choice.
“There is disappointment at the final result, but it can happen and there was a lot of pressure as we didn’t want to be knocked out of the competition at the early stage.
“Nevertheless, it’s important to look forward, go back to the drawing board, correct our mistakes and restart,” he said.
In another match played earlier in the day, Nation-wide League One (NLO) Division 2 side Police Machine defeated FCT League side Basic Maracana 2-1.
Action in the 2019 FCT FA Cup continues on Tuesday with FCT League side Camp United taking on non-league side Casmat Academy, while Defence Strikers do battle against Dal FC.
The Cup competition is expected to climax with the final match on April 28, with the two finalists qualifying to represent FCT in the 2019 Aiteo Cup competition.