2021 Higher Institutions Football League champions, UNIMAID Desert Warriors, have 90 minutes to turn things around and make progress as they face BUK Stallions, in the second leg of their Round of 16 clash.
Organized by PACE Sports, Nigeria Universities Games Association (NUGA) and supported by StanbicIBTC, Bold, LIRS and Indomie Noodles, the HiFL has reached a climax as teams jostle to qualify for the quarter-finals and the Super Four.
The champions played out a 1-1 draw with BUK in the first leg and risk exit if they fail to respond appropriately, in Kano today.
Also in the same situation is AAUA Luminaries.
UNIMAID Desert Warriors must win or get at least a 2-2 draw in Kano to qualify for the next round.
However, Coach Isiyaku Ibrahim of the Stallions has promised to upstage the champions.
“It is our turn to lift the HiFL trophy. Every team that has defeated us at this level has gone ahead to win the league but now it is our turn to beat our opponent at this stage and go ahead to win the league, hopefully.
We have done everything technically and tactically for the game and we sincerely hope that we get a good result,” he said.
AAUA Luminaries from Akungba have a mountain to climb when they face the LASU Blazers in Lagos.
The Luminaries must overturn their 2-0 home loss to stand any chance.
Coach Joseph Abuo of the Luminaries has assured that “we have worked on every area of the game where we needed to improve based on our first leg game. My boys are motivated because I have told them that this is a must-win match for us”.
On his part, Coach Bamidele Omosaye of LASU Blazers, believes the deal must be completed by Wednesday.
He said: “I have told my boys to continue from where we stopped at Akungba. We are very optiistic and we would want to consolidate on our win to qualify for the quarter-finals. Our school administration and students have been very supportive and we promise that we will do our best not to disappoint them”.
The battle at the University of Port Harcourt will be no less important as HiFL 2021 third place team UNN Lions hope to consolidate on their 4-2 home win to qualify for the next round when they face UNIPORT Sharks.
Coach Ike Chiojoke of the Lions has assured their fans that “I have spoken to my boys to avoid overconfidence because if UNIPORT could score two goals away, it means that they can also score at home. But, we will also try to score in Port Harcourt to stand a good chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals”.
In Kogi, it will also be a fight to finish between KSU Steelers and FUTMINNA Transformers from Minna.
The first leg of their encounter ended 2-2 and the Steelers are counting on home advantage to qualify for the next round.