Federation Cup Final Lights Up Lagos, Heartland, Lobi In Titanic Battle

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The city of Lagos will come alive on Sunday when the final of the 2012 Federation Cup holds at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere.

This will be the second time Lagos will be playing host to the oldest football competition with the defending champions, Heartland Football Club of Owerri taking on Lobi Stars of Markudi in the epic final, while Prime FC of Osogbo and Kano Pillars will trade tackles in the third place match.

The final ceremony promises to be colourful with fans of the two finalists, as well as the supporters of the teams playing the third place match set to storm Lagos to watch their darling teams.

To reach the final stage, Heartland FC defeated Prime FC of Osogbo 3-0 through penalty kicks after a barren draw in regulation time at the Ilorin centre, while Lobi Stars stopped Kano Pillars in the second semi final which ended 5-4 via penalty kicks in Calabar.

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and the Igbo community in Lagos will storm the Teslim Balogun Stadium to cheer Heartland to victory, as they did in last year’s final,  when they defeated Enyimba of Aba 5-4 via penalty shootout, after a goal apiece in regulation time.

Information has it that Governor Gabriel Suswan of Benue State will also be leading Lobi fans to the epic final. The host, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola and the President of Nigeria Football Federation, Aminu Maigari will be around to present the new Federation Cup trophy donated by the Lagos State Government to the winners.

Heartland are favourites to win this year’s edition looking at their stars’ pedigree such as Kalu Orji, Chinedu Efugh, Jolly Osas and their reserved Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, who gave his best against Prime FC in Ilorin, who will be on duty on Sunday.

Heartland Coach, Ndubuisi Nduka told P.M.News in Ilorin that having qualified for this year’s final, his team are ready to defend the title back to back. He said  Lagos is a home for Heartland with many Igbo traders who will come to the stadium to support the team.

“Lagos is our second home. We came here to lift the cup last year and we are here again this year. Nothing will stop us from winning this trophy back to back. Lobi cannot stop us from winning the title because we have come a long way to the final,” he boasted.

An official of Lobi, Atom Terkula said that the dream of the team is to win a double this season. “Our dream for a double this season is coming to reality and by God’s Grace, we’ll win the Federation Cup title and wait for 7 September for our last league game at Kaduna United.

“We’re positive we’ll win the last game and pick our second title. We’re not just contented with the continental ticket in our kitty, we want trophies,” he said.

The third place match between Kano Pillars and Prime FC will be another cracker as Prime FC have vowed to win the third position to compensate their fans after their semi final defeat against Heartland in Ilorin.

Prime’s coach, Ademola Adeshina said his players will not relent and are ready to win the third place match.

“We are taking the third place match very important and we are in Lagos with high expectations.

In : Sports

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