Agege stadium on fire as Nasarawa Amazons, Rivers Angels battle for bragging rights

Agege Stadium. Photo: Nigerian Infrastructure<br />

Which is the best women football playing team in Nigeria? That question would be answered today when Super Four champions, Nasarawa Amazons host Aiteo Cup winners, Rivers Angels in another intriguing battle for the maiden Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Champions Shield tomorrow at the ‘Soccer Temple’, Agege Stadium in Lagos.

The two teams are familiar foes in the domestic scene having sorted themselves out recently at the 2017 Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL) Super 4 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.

On that occasion, the Amazons proved doubters wrong with an emphatic 2-1 win against the Jewel of Rivers.

In 2016, the Port Harcourt landladies pulled their weights to be crowned champions at the expense of the Lafia side with a 5-3 win on penalties after stalemate in regulation time at the Fifa Goal Project ground in Abuja.  

This background properly sets the tune on what to expect from the top-flights as they set their foot in Lagos on Thursday with their respective arsenals roaring to devour and prey on the other comes on Sunday.

Unarguably, Rivers Angels are the bitterest between the two as they aim to regain their strand as the premiere side in the land.

The Garden City side did pretty shopping for good legs to fortify themselves for the battle ahead and are coming to the NWFL Champions Shield with a fierce squad with a single mandate – win the NWFL Champions Shield trophy.

Alice Ogebe has been an exciting addition and striker to the Rivers Angels squad upon joining the side from neighbours, Delta Queens.

Ogebe was outstanding in the immediate past NWPL season with seven goals to her kitty and stood out at the NWPL Super 4 in Benin City despite her side overall below-par-performance.

The Oturkpo-born markswoman was key to the Super Falcons’ Wafu Cup bronze performance in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire and a sure favourite to take the battle to the defence of the Lafia.

Rivers Angels line-up is not lacking of hot legs and sharp shooters. The former Bayelsa Queens’ striker, Rafiat Suleiman will certainly cause some troubles for the defence of Nasarawa Amazons.

The former Jagunmolu FC lethal finisher has been described as ‘technically sound’ with sharp eyes for goals from every angle and distance.

The new striking imports, Juliet Sunday (Sunshine Queens), Paulinus Ifeoma (Confluence Queens), Vivian Ikechukwu (Abia Angels), Chinaza Uchendu (Nasarawa Amazons), among others, will also be on hand to trouble the Lafia side’s backline.

Nasarawa Amazons have told whoever cares to listen that they are in Lagos to win the NWFL Champions Shield top prize and prove to doubters that they are truly the Nigerian champions.

The Lafia side have intact 90 per cent of their squad that beat all comers for the NWPL Super 4 title in Benin City.

Nigeria junior international and Super Falcons’ Wafu Cup markswoman, Anam Imo is not 100 per cent fit, according to inside source. However, she remains a threat to the backline of Rivers Angels.

Even in Imo’s absence, the ambitious quartet of Ijeoma Emenike, Adejoke Ejalonibu, Chinyere Igboamalu and Ikeh Ginika can do the job for their team. And then there is Kafayat Ajani ready to trouble the Port Harcourt side.

Ejalonibu was quite outstanding when her side defeated the Rivers side 2-1 at the NWPL Super 4 in Benin and a sure bet to earn a repeat performance.

In the experienced trio of Mariam Ibrahim, Sarah Nnodim and central midfielder, Amarachi Okoronkwo, Nasarawa United has the ammunition to withstand whatever comes their way from Rivers Angels.

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