Former Champions, UAM Tillers are now ousted from the 2022 Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) after losing out on a 2-3 aggregate in the second leg match of the round of 16 played in Ilorin.
UAM Tillers were held to a 2-2 draw by the NUGA Defending champions, Unilorin Warriors in a keenly contested game. It would be recalled that the Tillers lost 0 – 1 in the first leg at Markurdi.
Assistant Coach of the Unilorin Warriors, Abdulraheem Abdulhafiz expressed satisfaction with the performance of his team and espoused their hard work and positive spirit. He also praised the school management for their immense support.
“Our boys are determined to go all out to defeat every opponent that comes our way. Our major goal this season is to go for goals and win the trophy, that is what the whole team works towards”, Abdulraheem said.
He added that “we are unrelenting on our efforts and will continue to bring in the spirit of the NUGA games to the HiFL and the spirit is high. However, this is a game of football and we do not rate any team low, it’s a matter of planning for the next game as the boys resume training immediately and deal with the challenges one after the other”, he further said.
Coach Paul Sebastien Cyohuna of UAM Tillers, despite the elimination from the league, expressed gratitude for how far the team had come but hoped that the team will bounce back stronger.
“The game against Unilorin was good and fair but my team will have to improve on the mental ability to pull through difficult rivals and withstand pressure from any opponent. They are young players and I believe subsequently they will get better”
“We will go back and introduce training programs to help them to understand how to work under pressure and task them on their mental capacity to withstand any difficult team” Coach Sebastien assured.
John Aogo of the Tillers had put the visitors in the lead in the 16th minute before Unite Amadu netted the second in the 39th minute to strengthen the lead. However, the Warriors through Mujib Jamiu in the 47th minute and Ogunbenro Mustapha in the 62nd minute. The Tillers then needed two goals but they could not as the Warriors put up a solid defence. The goalkeeper of the Tillers, Jacob Tergema received the Stanbic IBTC Man of the Match (MOTM) for his heroics against the ever-pressing strikers of the Warriors.
In other games, ATBU Bravehearts of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University lost at home to KASU Crocs from Kaduna State University by 2-3. However, the Bravehearts qualified 4-3 on aggregate having won the first leg by 2-0 in Kaduna. The Rivers-based Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE) Minders also crashed out of the HiFL after a 4-2 loss on penalties to DELSU Titans in Port Harcourt. This was after both teams were levelled in a five-all draw on aggregate.
The HiFL, in its fourth active season, is organized by PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing and is supported by StanbicIBTC, Bold, LIRS and Indomie.