FA Cup: Bayelsa United, B. Queens emerge champions

Bayelsa United

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau

Two Bayelsa State-owned football clubs, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens on Sunday created a record in Nigeria’s football as both the male and female teams won the 2021 FA Cup on the same day at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.

Hard-fighting Bayelsa United beat Nasarawa United 4-3 in the penalty shootout after the teams were tied 2-2 at full time in the water-soaked pitch.

All the four goals scored in the regulation came in the first half of the explosive match which was nearly marred by heavy downpour which lasted the duration of the game.

Earlier, Bayelsa Queens defeated FC Robo Queens of Lagos 4-2 at same Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium to win their first FC Cup after six previous disappointments.

After losing the last six FA Cup finals, Bayelsa Queens eventually won the 2021 FA Cup to make it double celebrations for Bayelsans in general and Governor Duoye Diri in particular, whose administration has been shouldering the huge financial burdens associated with sponsoring football clubs in Nigeria.

Youthful forward, Anjor Mary gave the club fondly called ‘New Direction Ladies’ the lead in the 15th minute but Super Falcons invitee, Monday Gift equalised four minutes later.

Nevertheless, Juliet Sunday restored Bayelsa Queens’ lead in the 37th minute while ex-Junior international,
Peace Effih made it 3-1 to increase her team’s lead.

Habiba Akinwande scored FC Robo’s second goal in the 65th minute to give false hope of a late comeback but another Falcons player, Joy Bokiri’s 74th-minute strike took the game out of the reach of Coach Emmanuel Osahon’s girls.

This will be the first time Bayelsa Queens is lifting the FA Cup, although the club has reached six previous final without lifting the trophy while it was FC Robo Queens first final of any major football competition in Nigeria.

Bayelsa Queens past first three straight defeats were in the 2004, 2005 and 2006 just as the club also lost in 2009, 2015, and 2016 finals of FA Cup.

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