By Babatunde Ogunrinde
Lagos – The Nigerian Navy football team has set up a final encounter with the Nigeria Customs Service of Lagos in the ongoing Ships and Ports Maritime Football Cup competition in Lagos.
The Navy sailed to the final after a 2-1 defeat of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Wednesday at the Astro Turf pitch of the National stadium in Lagos.
On the other hand, Customs edged Josephdarm Port Services 2-0 at the NPA sports ground in Surulere, Lagos o also berth at the final.
The NPA drew first blood through striker, Taiwo Monsoh in the 19th minute and took command of the game and eventually claimed the first half.
However, a spirited performance by the Navy team saw them draw level through a loan strike by Musa Mohammed in the 50th minute.
Dick Precious confounded NPA’s woes when in the 75th minute he scored directly through a corner kick which will arguably stand as the goal of the tournament.
All efforts for the NPA team to get their all important equaliser were unsuccessful as they became too immature to convert their numerous chances.
The tournament which began on May 15 had six companies from the maritime industry competing for honours in the annual event which began in 2009.
Haji Babangida, Captain of the Navy team, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that their hard-fought victory against the NPA was their ultimate target as they hoped to win the championship’s trophy.
“We are in this championship to win, we will do our best against Customs and hopefully win the trophy which is our utmost desire,’’ Babangida said.
The Navy was the champions of the maiden edition in 2009 and has yet to repeat such feat.
Coach Monsuru Adebayo of Customs team in his account said that the competition had brought the best out of his team and nothing would stop them from winning the cup.
The Customs teams who also are the defending champions of the competition are all times highest winners of the exclusive competition with four championship trophies in its eight years.
NAN reports that the third place match and the final match come up at the Astro Tuff Pitch of the National Stadium, Surulere on May 26.
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