Bayelsa Queens Win NWFL Champions Shield

* Falode pledges more innovations for the women’s league

Uzoamaka Igwe and Lucky Odiri scored in each half as Nigeria Women Premier League Champions Bayelsa Queens defeated Rivers Angels 2-0 to win the NWFL Champions Shield on a wet day at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex in Yenagoa.

It was a disappointing afternoon for Edwin Okon and his girls who appeared more likely to be the first team to score in the game, as they played better in the first half, but failed to convert most of their chances.

However, left full back Uzoamaka Igwe scored in the 43rd minutes via a well- taken free-kick to give the ‘Restoration Girls’ the lead before the break.

Yetunde Adeboyejo and Vivian Ikechukwu had their chances to salvage something for the ‘Jewel of Rivers’ early in the second half but were denied by Rabi Ihiabe and the experienced Osas Igbinovia at the back line of Bayelsa Queens in quick succession.

Celine Ottah uncharacteristically curled wide from 18 yards after Anjor Mary’s cutback found her in space in the area in the 73rd minute as Tessy Obiahwo’s floated ball to the back post found the former Ibom Angels’ midfielder and unleashed the ball beyond the despairing dive of Charity John.

But the best was yet to come, Adebisi Saheed cut in off the right and drove the ball which was parried by Rivers Angels’ goalkeeper Charity John, who made another save from a rebound before Joy Odiri scored from a close range to make it 2-0 in the 80th minute for the league Champions.

Bayelsa Queens became the second team to win the Nigeria Women Football League Champions Shield after Rivers Angels did last year in Lagos beating Nasarawa Amazons and will travel down to Akure on Wednesday to face Sunshine Queens in the Premier League, while Rivers Angels will be on their way to Osogbo to face Osun Babes.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the Nigeria Women Football League, Aisha Falode, has promised to initiate more innovations in the country’s women’s football league that would boost the fortunes of the gender game in Nigeria.

Falode said at the weekend that the women’s league body won’t relent in its efforts until the league is ranked among the best in the world.

She added: “Our policies are already paying off, we are aiming at building a brand that we can all be proud of. The Champions Shield is an innovation that will bring about more competitions in the league. The more the players compete, the more they get better.

“Our goal, our job, our responsibility is to build the NWFL to a major brand in the footballing world. We are on the right path and we have remained consistent over the years, I believe we are almost there. Falode assured.

She stressed: ” Our quest to attract quality sponsorships for the league will only be achieved when the investors are convinced they will get the desired return on investment and that’s exactly where we are driving at as a body. According to her, the NWFL has succeeded in improving the standard of the women’s league in all ramifications and no doubt, the Nigeria Women Premier League is the best in Africa. She concluded.

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