Abuja – Sultana Farms conceded defeat in the most agonising manner on Thursday in Abuja after losing to DEFCOM in the Legislative Shield at the ongoing National Peace and Unity Polo Tournament.
DEFCOM secured victory with a 5 to 4 ½ goals win in the last minute of regulation time to keep their title hopes alive.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that captain Muktar Adhama scored the decisive goal for his team.
But before then, Sultana Farms were on the verge of creating the biggest upset of the tournament.
They led the game until the fourth chukka, after being handed a 1 ½ goals advantage to level the handicap difference.
With one and half goal deficit to overcome at the start of the first chukka, DEFCOM soon found themselves trailing the contest 3 ½ to 3 at the end of the third chukka.
Sultana Farms’ hearts were however broken by Adhama, whose mallet plucked the soft spot for the match winner.
This was just 30 seconds to the end of the fourth chukka, thus sending the partisan crowd into raptures.
Bello Buba (+4), the country’s best player, had earlier scored what seemed to be the winner for DEFCOM in the 4th and final chukka to make it a 4-3 ½ lead for his side.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
However, Ibrahim Mohammed replied with a goal of his own to make it a 4 ½-4 lead for Sultana Farms, thus setting the stage for the much-anticipated make-or-mar tie breaker.
DEFCOM had to dig deep into their wealth of experience to edge battle-weary Sultana Farms at the end of a pulsating encounter.
DEFCOM’s Adhama admitted after the game that the game was very tough, adding however that both sides were very familiar with themselves.
“This is not the first time we are playing Sultana Farms and we have defeated them on four different occasions.
“We met in Kaduna twice, we beat them, and we met last year in Abuja and also beat them.
“In fact, we beat them just two weeks ago in Kaduna. So they are more or less our regular,” he said.
Suleiman Shema, the captain of Sultana Farms, on his part expressed disappointment at the outcome of the match, adding that the officiating was very bad.
In other matches played on Thursday, Maizube Farms beat Dogonyaro 3 ½ -2 in the race for the Guards Challenge title.
H. Hago beat Danmarna 5 to 3 ½ in the battle for the Guards Brigade trophy.
NAN also reports that the week-long polo fiesta continues on Friday with the Guards Brigade battling against Abuja Polo Club in the Guards Challenge title race.
Terra E and P seek to continue their winning run in their second Guards Brigade Trophy contest.
The last game of the day will see a solid Max Air side which would be boosted by the presence of Argentine Fernando Bourdieu, a 6-goaler, take on the star-studded Keffi Ponys.
The Ponys are the defending champions of the President’s Cup.
The Ahmed Wadada-powered Keffi Ponys parade the likes of Diego White, a 7-goaler from Argentina, and Bello Buba, a 4-goaler who is also the country’s highest-ranked player.
The tournament which got underway on May 12 is expected to end on May 17.(NAN)