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Football | Nigeria

Danjuma, Okon react to Shield loss

Nasarawa Amazons manager Chris Danjuma is feeling downcast after osing the NWFL Champions Shield podium prize to rivals Rivers Angels.

The Lafia side lost 3-4 to the Jewel of Rivers on penalties after the full-time scores stood even at 1-1 in Sunday’s NWFL Champions Shield at the Agege Township Stadium in Lagos.

Forward Alice Ogebe gave the Port Harcourt side the opener in the first half of the keenly contested encounter while danger woman Adejoke Ejalonibu levelled the scores for the Lafia outfit to stretch the clash to penalty shootouts.

Danjuma said his side will work very hard in the upcoming football season to achieve the double at the end of the season.

“We feel bad because this is not a game we should have lost though through penalty shootouts.

“We had a game plan to win the clash within the allotted time but shockingly it stretched to penalties.

“We try to counsel the players when it comes to penalty shootouts, but it is difficult to stop the tension and jitters, especially when one of the shooters loses her spot kick.

“We are not making excuses though, there is match form and training form and I don't think we are a 100 percent yet.

“The Champions Shield has come and gone, it is history right now as we shift our attention to the league.

“We go into each competition respecting our opponents, we have already set a target for ourselves to go higher than we did in the previous season.

“We were league champions last season but not Aiteo Cup winners, so we want to win double in the coming football season,” said the Falconets coach to supersport.com.

Meanwhile, Rivers Angels head coach Edwin Okon is elated following his side's victory at the NWFL Champions Shield.

“I knew the clash would be tough as Nasarawa Amazons have always proven themselves to be good side.

“We would have won outright but for the questionable cancellation of our second goal. There was no reason to cancel the goal. I give kudos to the players for staying calm and going ahead to win the penalty shootout.

“I’m the happiest person at the moment because I fielded a player, Anna Yusuf, from an academy here in Lagos for 90 minutes, a player that has never played in the league to prove to all that at Rivers Angels we do not believe in super stars but the fittest players.

“We are returning to the trenches to prepare properly for the league. We have won the Champions Shield, but we will not allow the success to go to our heads.

“The league is a different ball game compared with the Champions Shield.

“We will correct our lapses and set the stage right to compete for the league and Aiteo Cup shields.

“Of course, Nasarawa Amazons are the league champions and you cannot afford to underrate them, they are good and actually gave us a good fight,” said the former Falconets and Super Falcons coach to supersport.com.

The NWPL Champions Shield is a dress rehearsal for the kick-off of the 2017/18 Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL) due to start on Sunday, April 7 with the star match between league champions Nasarawa Amazons and FC Robo Queens at the Lafia Township Stadium.


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