Lagos: By Samuel Bamisebi
The Higher Institution Football League in Nigeria saw a flurry of games over two weeks to confirm the exit of 16 teams as the competition in its third season enters the quarter final stage.
Defending champions Unical Malabites and last season super four finalist OAU Giants failed to progress to the last eight of the competition. Unical Malabites were knocked out by Uniben Royals as a second leg 1-0 victory was not enough to keep them in the tie as they lost 4-2 on aggregate while OAU Giants were held to a 1-1 draw by AAUA Luminaries at home to earn the Luminaries a spot in the quarterfinals after playing 0-0 in Akungba in the first leg.
University of Lagos Marines as well as the winners of the first edition University of Agriculture Markurdi Tillers also claimed their last 8 status in contrasting styles. After a 0-0 result in the first leg in Akure, FUTA Tigers failed to show up for the reverse fixture against the Unilag Marines and the game was declared a walk over after satisfaction of the rules by the Match commissioner, earning the Lagosians their very first quarter final spot in the competition while UAM Tillers defeated ABU Nobles 2-1 in Markurdi to book move a step closer to regaining the title they lost last season.
Unimaid Desert Warriors as well as FUTMinna a also booked their spot in the quarter finals of the competition as they went past their opponents. The desert warriors defeated BUK Stallions at home 3-2 in the presence of their Vice Chancellor, Prof. Aliyu Shugaba and the Borno State commissioner for youth and sports development Saina Baba. The Desert Warriors also won the first leg 2-1 to remain the only team to win both legs of their R16 tie. FUTMinna Transformers defeated Lautech Hunters 3-2 in a fiercely contested encounter as the Ogbomoso based institution bowed out of the competition.
The final 8 teams in the quarter finals are Uniben Royals, AAUA Luminaries, Unilag Marines, FUTMinna Transformers, UAM Tillers, Unimaid Desert Warriors, Unilorin Warriors and UNN Lions
The date of the quarter finals have been set for Wednesday, 25th August, 2021 by 4pm with the reverse fixture the next Wednesday, 1st September 2021. The last four teams will play the Super 4 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium Lagos.