2018 defending champions, UAM Tillers, runners up, UNICAL Malabites, ESUT Explorers and BUK Stallions have all advanced to the quarter-finals of 2019 Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) season on Wednesday.
UAM 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 however leveled scores through Nura Muhammed in the 22nd minute.
KUST Pyramids delighted their home fans again in the 29th minute with another goal from jersey number ten, Nura Deneji which threw the crowd into great excitement.
However, their joy was short-lived as Kano Pillar’s striker and HiFL 2018 Most Valuable Player, Ebuka Odenigbo terrorised the KUST defence consistently to equalise in the 96th minute. With this, the defending champions have qualified for 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 advantage. Atako Manuchi of RSU Dolphins scored the only goal of the encounter in the 7th minute. His effort was however 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 16 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 in the end, 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.