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El-Kanemi Warriors emerge victorious with 3rd Federation Cup title

El-Kanemi Warriors were comfortably in control of the second half and could have doubled the lead in the 63rd minute, but Jacob Jonathan dragged a well-crafted chance wide after being played through by Ajiji.

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El-Kanemi Warriors emerge victorious with 3rd Federation Cup title

In a thrilling finals at Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos, El-Kanemi Warriors emerged victorious, defeating Abia Warriors 2-0 to secure their third Federation Cup title.

The highlight of the match was midfielder Nasiru Salihu’s impressive performance as he scored both goals, leading the Maiduguri side to victory.

The Maiduguri side thus secured Nigeria’s second CAF Confederation Cup ticket for next season and will vie for honours in Africa’s second-tier club competition alongside Enyimba, who earlier sealed their spot after finishing third in the 2023–24 Nigeria Premier Football League standings.

Midfielder Nasiru Salihu stole the show, scoring both goals, one in each half, as the Borno Army claimed their third Federation Cup title after triumphs in 1991 and 1992.

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Aliyu Zubairu’s side were not the favourites heading into the battle of Warriors, but they showed a sense of purpose from the start and created the first real chance of the game inside 15 minutes, winning a penalty after Aryamin Umar was hacked in the Abia Warriors box.

Abia Warriors goalkeeper Ali Ishaku, however, guessed correctly to his left and denied Nasiru Salihu from the spot.

El-Kanemi Warriors kept up their intensity, and there was no denying Salihu again in the 32nd minute, as the midfielder finished off a beautiful team move to give the Maiduguri side the lead.

The delightful side came close again in the 40th minute, but Gimba Ajiji couldn’t beat Ishaku in a one-on-one situation that could have doubled the lead going into the break.

Despite Coach Samson Obi’s multiple halftime substitutions, Abi Warriors still lacked the willpower to bring themselves back into the game.

El-Kanemi Warriors were comfortably in control of the second half and could have doubled the lead in the 63rd minute, but Jacob Jonathan dragged a well-crafted chance wide after being played through by Ajiji.

Five minutes later, Salihu was again at the end of another swift team move and poked the ball home from close range to make the scoreline 2-0 for Zubairu’s side.

There was no coming back for Abia Warriors, as Salihu’s brilliance epitomised the underrated quality of the Maiduguri side.

Earlier in the women’s final played earlier that day at the same venue, a first-half stoppage time penalty by Blessing Okpe was all Rivers Angels needed to edge Naija Ratels, claiming their ninth title.

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