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Football | Nigeria

‘FCIU Cup ouster happiest moment’

Niger Tornadoes head coach Abubakar Bala is elated at his side’s progression to the Aiteo Cup final at the expense of title holders FC IfeanyiUbah. (FCIU).

The Ikon Allah Boys were beaten 0-1 by hosts and Cup holders FC IfeanyiUbah in Thursday’s Aiteo Cup semifinals second-leg clash at the FC IfeanyiUbah International Stadium in Nnewi.

However, the Minna landlords advanced to the final on 4-3 aggregate after the first-leg clash on Saturday in Lokoja ended 4-2.

Bala said his side will be ready to challenge for the spoils against former Cup holders Akwa United or Sunshine Stars.

“I must confess that this is the happiest moment so far of my coaching career.

“As recent as 2013 to 2015 I was just an assistant coach as I came in as assistant coach during the midterm of 2015/16 but I became a fully-fledged coach in 2017.

“I only handled a premier league side as a full coach in 2017 and here I am into the final of the Aiteo Cup.

“That’s no mean achievement coming from a top-flight rookie and upstart like me against an experienced side.

“I’m spurred on to work even harder after this heart-warming performance.

“I think I’m ready to confront Akwa United or Sunshine Stars in the Aiteo Cup final in Lagos.

“Akwa United are the best team in Nigeria at the moment.

“I have deep respect for them but do not fear the side or any other team, including Sunshine Stars.

“I will head off to Uyo to watch the semifinals reverse fixture between Akwa United and Sunshine Stars on Sunday.

“I’m sure to gain an insight from the clash on how to map out my match plan for the final against either side.

“I have always maintained that I have a target for myself as far as the Aiteo Cup is concerned. I’m still keeping the target close to my chest and will make it known after the final in Lagos,” said the former FC Lokoja coach to supersport.com.

The Minna side will confront the aggregate winners of the semifinals clash between Akwa United and Sunshine Stars in the final on Sunday, October 15, at the Agege Township Stadium in Lagos.


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