Abuja- Kwali Area Council on Saturday defeated Gwagwalada Area Council 2-1 to qualify for the semi-finals of the FCT state qualifiers for the maiden President’s Cup.
The match, played at the Area 3 Sports Complex, saw Abdul Ishaku score Kwali’s winning goal in the 85th minute.
Daniel Alechenu had opened scoring for Kwali in the 40th minute but Benjamin Ndubuisi levelled scores for Gwagwalada in the 45th minute just before the break.
Coach of Kwali, George Gabriel, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the victory was deserved.
“The players played beyond expectations in spite of the fact that some of them have injuries.
“But the advantage we had was that the midfield was very tight and the defence was strong because they played according to instructions’’, Gabriel said.
On his part, Gwagwalada’s coach, Abdullahi Haruna, said his players lost the encounter because they failed to convert their chances.
In another encounter, nine-man Bwari Area Council defeated Kuje 2-1 to breeze into the semi-finals.
Bwari had Mathew Musa withdrawn five minutes into the second half of the match for ineligibility while Simon Danlami was red carded in the 65th minute.
However, they held onto their two first half goals through Samuel Ganis and John Uche who scored in the 18th and 20th minute respectively, before Ibrahim Sani gave Kuje the consolatory goal in the 79th minute.
Coach of Kuje, Gbenga Onifade blamed the loss on the naivety of the players and bad officiating.
“ Most of our players are not real footballers, they are farmers. We only organised them to play this match just to encourage them,’’ Onifade said.
He also blamed his team loss on poor officiating.
On his part, Bwari’s coach, David Emmanuel commended the players for converting their chances when it mattered most.
In the third match, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) overpowered Abaji 7-6 on penalties.
Both teams had ended proceedings 2-2 at the end of regulation time.
However, in spite of the defeat, Abaji qualified for the semi-final as the best loser of the qualifiers.
AMAC will now face Bwari in the first semi-final match on Monday, while Abaji and Kwali will trade tackles in the second semi-final encounter.
NAN reports that the winner of the FCT qualifiers will represent FCT in the zonal qualifiers scheduled to hold in Plateau between Dec. 15 and Dec. 23. (NAN)
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