The University of Agriculture Makurdi (UAM Tillers) have emerged as the winners of the maiden Collegiate Football League.
UAM Tillers handed out a 5-4 defeat to University of Calabar (UNICAL Malabites) after penalty shootouts in Lagos on Saturday.
And as a result, the UAM Tillers have now become the champions of the maiden Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL).
The Tillers from Makurdi started the match on the front foot while also dominating play and possession.
And this saw the skipper and highest goal-scorer of the competition, Ebuka David in the thick of action.
But the defence of the UNICAL Malabites which had Okorie Okechukwu as its leader stood resolute.
The boys from Calabar were also the better team in the second 45 minutes.
That saw skipper and Man of the Match, Charles Ufot creating lots of goal-scoring chances which they could not convert.
But after a goalless stalemate in regulation time, the Makurdi team won 5-4 during penalty shoot-outs at the Agege Stadium.
“We hope to improve collegiate sports in Nigeria” – Fijabi
Organizers of the HiFL league stated they had a huge impression with the massive following that the league has garnered.
One of the director of PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Sola Fijabi said he was happy with the first edition.
“It is heart-warming to close out our first season on a high note.
“We are especially happy that the league did not only create an engagement platform for brands and several stakeholders.
“But it also unified students across Nigeria in the delightful spirit of sportsmanship.
“We are extremely ready for the 2019 edition to accommodate more schools than what we presently have.
“In 2019, there will be 32 schools, 100% increase in the number of universities that participated in this maiden edition.
“We are hopeful that like the maiden edition, subsequent editions of the league will continue to have positive impact.
“And that is on both sports and education in our dear country, Nigeria.
“We hope to place collegiate sports in Nigeria on a very high level.
“And that is on the same pedestal obtainable in other countries that have recorded successes and built a strong network.
“This will include young, home-grown sporting and football talents in particular,” Fijabi summed up.
A total number of 16 teams took part in the 2018 edition of the HiFL season.
The winner of HIFL will represent Nigeria at the 2019 International University Sports Federation (FISU) Games holding in Naples, Italy.