Cross-River based team, Pelican Stars today defeated Lagos based FC Robo at the Legacy pitch of the National Stadium, Surulere to progess into the quarter-finals of the 2017 AiteoCup.
It was a keenly contested match which had all the drama one can witness in a football match like beautiful goals, last minute goal, goal mouth scramble, fans cheering in loud voice, touchline antics, disallowed goal etc just to mention a few. At the end of 90mins, the teams had to be separated by penalties as it ended 2-2 in normal time.
The home team, FC Robo started the match with a lot of purpose going forward and should have scored but for the profligacy of their striker, Gift Monday who was the culprit on the day, missing numerous chances to take the game beyond the team from Cross-River.
She atoned for her missed chances with a beautiful solo effort to put her team 2-1 up after the Pelican stars goal against the run of play was cancelled out by a lovely half volley from Fehintola Mabokanje of FC Robo.
A late goal from Pelican Stars in additional time similar to what we experienced in the first fixture in Calabar ensured that the game went into penalties. “It is the fighting spirit. You don’t give up until it is over. It is not over until it is over. This is our belief,” said Adat Egan, Coach of Pelican Stars. “When the whistle hasn’t sounded for the end of the game, you must continue to fight till the end.”
At the end of the penalty shootout, Pelican Stars won 4-2 to progress into the quarter-finals of the Aiteo Cup. Captain of the winning team, Hodo Williams who was obviously excited about their victory in Lagos said “coming down to Lagos for the replay, the tension was very high but we knew we would win because we had the confidence we would win and God did it for us. We’re very grateful to the almighty.”
Coach Adat also mentioned that the quarter-finals is the next stage and they will prepare very well for it, taking it one game at a time. The quarter-finals matches would be played on September 20, 2017 as the race to be crowned Aiteo Cup Champions heats up.