Kogi State University, Anyigba football team (The Steelers) have made history by becoming the first State University to win the Nigerian Higher Institution Football League.
The historic moment came on Saturday inside the main bowl of the Yaba College of Technology Stadium courtesy of a well deserved 3-1 victory over their counterpart, the Dazzlers, from the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti.
The Steelers went behind in the first minute through a penalty, but replied through a goal mouth scrabble two minutes later.
The first half ended in a stalemate. PAAU however changed the tempo of the game in the second half, scoring two goals to win the game 3-1.
The match was watched by the Kogi State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones who represented the Governor of the State, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, and the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Marietu Ohunene Tenuche. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration, Professor Olusola J Saliu, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Dr Daniel F Atidoga, the University Bursar, Mrs Aminat Anuhi, and a member of the Governing Council of the University, Hon. Ali Atabor were also on hand to cheers the team to victory.
For the PAAU team, the road to victory was a bumpy one. The team qualified as runners up from the zonal preliminaries comprising University of Ilorin, IBB Lapai, Federal University, Lokoja, University of Agriculture, Makurdi and hosted by KSU.
They lost their opening game against University of Ilorin1-2, defeated IBB Lapai 1-0 in the second game, thrashed Federal University Lokoja 2-0 in the third game and drew 0-0 with the Akpera Orshi University of Agriculture Makurdi in the final group game, garnering 7 points to pick second slot behind University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
In the first knock out round, the Steelers defeated Federal University of Technology, Minna, on 3-2 aggregate.
They emerged victorious in the quarter final courtesy of a 4-2 Penalty shoot out win over the Bayero University, Kano, after a 2-2 draw in the regulation time in Minna.
The Steelers edged out University of Ilorin 1-0 in the Semi final played in Minna to book a place in the historic final.
The Federal University Oye-Ekiti, qualified for the final by default after Delta State University, Abraka, was disqualified for fielding ineligible players.
Speaking to newsman shortly after the match, the joyous Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Marietu Ohunene Tenuche, was full of praises to His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Executive Governor of the State, for not only providing the enabling environment for sport, but also for his all-round support which has ensured the positive visibility of the University.
She stressed that the Governor has ensured a stable academic calendar in the institution and provided the resources required for the University to function effectively.
She also thanked the Honourable Commissioner for Education Science and Technology, Honourable Wemi Jones, who represented the Governor, for coming all the way to Lagos to cheer the team to victory.
She also thanked members of Council, Principal Officers and Management of the University for the support given to the team.
Professor Tenuche congratulated the football team for doing the University proud and promised more support not just for football but also other sporting activities so as to entrench moral and physical values in students.