By Samuel Bamisebi

The 2021 Higher Institution football League (HiFL), got off to a good start yesterday with matches across four centres on the 20th April 2021.

At the Lagos State University Sports Complex, the first game between Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) Stars and Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) Tigers ended in a 1-1 draw. The Tigers took the lead in the first half courtesy a clean header from a free kick but were pegged back in the second half. “It wasn’t bad, it’s a draw and we’ll be out against Onabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) tomorrow,” said a frustrated coach of FUTA Tigers Dr. Agibua Michael. while the FUTA coach hailed his boys for gaining a vital point in the game “”I’m happy with the boys. We started the game without concentration but then in the second half we had to change our tactics which worked for us and we got the point,” said the assistant coach of ABUAD, Ojo Ige Sunday.

In other matches, the game between NDU Oilers and FUOYE Dazzlers at the University of Benin Sports Complex also ended in a 1-1 draw.

However, the thrilling encounter between UNIMAID Desert Warriors and ATBU Bravehearts played at the Bayero University, Kano produced five goals.

The match between UNN Warriors and FUNAI Hawks at the University of Uyo Sports complex ended 2-0 in favour of the Warriors. Goals from Utazi Chigozie and Amichebe Elvis ensured that the Hawks were left with no carcass to feed on after the dwell.

The qualifying stage features 5 zones with 25 schools taking part for a place in the group stages of the competition. Two teams will qualify from the 5 zones including the two best losers/wildcard for the stages while 4 teams have already qualified as being part of Super Four from 2019 OAU – Ile-Ife UNILORIN – Ilorin, UNICAL – Calabar,  UAM – Makurdi.

The Higher Institution Football League (HiFL) was incorporated by PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited in 2018 in partnership with the Nigerian University Games Association. The maiden edition of the league in 2018 was won by the UAM Tillers while UNICAL Malabites won the 2019 season.

Actions continue from other venues from the 20th to 24th April 2021.