Higher Institutions Football League 2018 defending champions, 2019 HIFL UAM Tillers, runners up, UNICAL Malabites, ESUT Explorers and BUK Stallions have all advanced alongside; the UNIBENROYALS, OAUGiants, UNILORINWarriors and LASUBlazers, to the quarter finals of 2019 Higher Institutions Football League season on Wednesday.
UAM 2019 HIFL Tillers were; visitors in Wudil, the home of Kano side, KUST pyramids and it took the champions only 15 minutes to impress their presence on the home side with an early goal from; team captain, Asen Shater. The home side came fighting from all sides until jersey number seven, Nura Muhammed brought the pyramids back on level in the 22nd minute.
KUST 2019 HIFL Pyramids delighted their home fans again in the 29th minute with a goal from jersey number ten, Nura Deneji throwing the crowd into great excitement but the joy was; short-lived as Kano Pillar’s striker and HiFL 2018 most valuable player, Ebuka Odenigbo terrorized the KUST defense consistently and finally got an equalizer in the 96th minute to send the defending champions to the quarter final after winning 4 – 2 on aggregate.
In Port-Harcourt, 2018 runners up, UNICAL Malabites advanced to the quarter finals despite losing to RSU Dolphins, thanks to a first leg 3-1 home win. Atako Manuchi of RSU Dolphins scored the only goal of the encounter in the 7th minute, however his effort was; not enough to take his team through to the next round.
Elsewhere in Uyo, ESUT Explorers cruised past UNIUYO Tuskites on their home soil. Jersey number sixteen, Uzoma Williams scored a late 94th minute goal to see the ENUGU side go through on a comfortable 4-0 aggregate win.
In Kano, bitter rivals ABU Nobles and BUK Stallions battled tough for survival, but it was; BUK who prevailed courtesy of a Kabiru Haliru 82nd minute strike to nick the last spot in a star studded Quarter Finals lineup.
The league is organised by; PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing in partnership with the Nigerian Universities Games Association (NUGA).
The league is sponsored by; Stanbic IBTC, Indomie Nigeria and Premier Cool. The top 32 Universities from NUGA-member institutions will play over a period of 21 weeks, with the final four billed for the Agege Stadium, Lagos.