By Amaechi Agbo
Fosla Academy of Karshi, Abuja has emerged the champions of this year’s FCT Principals Cup.
In the deciding final played yesterday at the Old Parade Ground, Area 10, FCT Abuja, the Karshi boys defeated Government Secondary School, GSS, Kabusa 1-0 to reclaim the trophy they won last year.
With the victory, Fosla Academy has won the Cup a record 3 consecutive times and will represent FCT in the Northern National Zonal Play-off in Minna or Katsina next year.
The match which was watched by the crème de la crème in FCT Sports and its environment had the fans’ stand filled to its capacity.
Expectedly, the match was ding-dong affair as each team played with caution with chances limited. Rueben Ojonimi scored the only goal in the 32 minutes to hand the Karshi based boys the trophy.
With the victory, Fosla Academy will represent FCT in the national Zonal play-off to hold in either Minna or Katsina states next year.
The final was the third edition of the Principals Cup and Fosla, the only private team to have emerged in the zonal preliminaries, went on the beat Kabusa to retain the coveted trophy. In the build up to the finals, the team played a total of 5 matches before the final. They won their first match by 3-0, defeated their opponents, Army Day Secondary School, ADSS, Maitama 2-0 in their second match, whitewashed Government Secondary School, GSS Wuse Zone 3 6-1 in Karu Zonal finals; trashed GSS Kuje 5-0 in the quarter finals, beat GSS Wuse Zone 3 2-0 in the semis and won GSS Kabusa 1-0 in the finals.
Fosla represented FCT in the first edition where they played in the final but lost to Rivers State 3-2. In the second edition last year, they were eliminated in the Northern National Zonal Play-off after 10 of their 20 players were screened out leaving them with only 10 players to prosecute the play-off. Determined, in spite of the harsh decision against them, the team played four matches with only 10 players. They beat Kaduna State by 3-0, defeated Bauchi 2-0, scored 2-1 against Nasarawa State but lost the final play-off 2-0 due to fatigue and injuries to the players.
Speaking to our correspondent, the coach of the victorious lads, Mr Gilbert Igwe, attributed his team’s victory to God and hard work and promised to do FCT proud in the Northern National Zonal Play-off next year.
“I feel so happy, it is a great thing. For us to win it for the third time is a great achievement. Our winning it three consecutive times is by God’s grace and hard work.
“I will give FCT nothing but the best representation next year. We will go back home to see how we can work on our weaknesses.
“My team scored only one goal against a minimum of two they had scored prior to the finals and I will attribute that to the tension of the finals. The team that also qualified for this year’s finals is also a good side. For them to get to this stage shows they are good.
“We will put in our best to give them good results in the National Zonal play-off. We will not fail them,” the coach stated.
Prior to the male finals, the female finals of the FCT Principals Cup was also decided yesterday with GSS Kuje defeating GSS Nyanya 3-2 on penalties to emerge champions.
The captain of the victorious side, Miss Ohajeku Oluchi expressed delight over her team’s victory and attributed it to collective effort and unity among the players. “I am very happy because this is the first time we are playing in finals and we won it. I love football. We won because of collective efforts. I am determined to give football my best. It was very hard and stressful to reach the finals because we had to train every day. But God kept us going,” the young skipper stated.
The SS3 student of further said she would love to take football as her career provided it is the will of God. Adding that her dream in football was to always be in the winning team,
Earlier on Tuesday, the 3rd place play-offs of the two competitions were decided with GGSS Abaji defeating GGSS Mabushi 4-2 on penalties after the regulation had ended 1-1in the female category. GSS Wuse beat GSS Mabushi 1-0 to claim the 3rd place in the males’ play-off.
Dignitaries that attended the final include the NFF Technical Committee Chairman, Malam Ahmad Yusuf Fresh; former President of NFF and proprietor of Fosla Academy, Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdulahi; FCT Director of Sports, Chief (Mrs) Dilichukwu Onyedinma; Zakari Musa, FCT FA Board member; Alhaji Musa Talle, FCT FA Chairman; among others.