2015 champions of Nigeria’s oldest and biggest domestic competition, Akwa United FC of Uyo on Sunday reclaimed the title, now named AITEO Cup, on a brilliant and exciting evening at the Agege Stadium, Lagos.
The scoreline at the final whistle was 0-0 but the Promise Keepers prevailed 3-2 after the penalty shoot-out to become the first winners of the captivating AITEO trophy.
The colourful final was watched by a glittering array of eminent personalities, including Governors Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) and Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger State), CAF President Ahmad, CAF Vice Presidents Kwesi Nyantakyi and Omari Selemani, CAF Emergency Committee members Souleman Waberi and Amaju Melvin Pinnick, Executive Committee members of NFF, chieftains of sponsors AITEO, NFF Management, Members of the Lagos State Executive Council and members of the diplomatic community.
The victory handed Akwa United, whose goalkeeper Olorunleke Ojo won both the Best Goalkeeper and Most Valuable Player awards and whose Coach, Abdu Maikaba was adjudged the Best Coach, a ticket to represent Nigeria in the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup competition.
Akwa United forward Christian Pyagbara also claimed the Top Scorer’s award with his seven goals in this year’s competition.
Apart from the mouthwatering 25 Million Naira ($70,323)prize money and the glittering trophy as winners, Akwa United also earned the ticket to represent Nigeria in next year’s Total CAF Confederation Cup.
It was the 11th time the competition was decided via penalties after it began in 1945 as Governor’s Cup. It was later known at various times as Challenge Cup and Federation Cup.
Meanwhile, the entourage of CAF President Ahmad at the Agege Stadium popularly known as ‘Soccer Temple’ include First Vice President Kwesi Nyantakyi, Second Vice President Constant Omari Selemani and CAF Emergency Committee member, Souleiman Waberi.