Akwa United are 2017 Federation Cup champions

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The Ikon Allah side will have themselves to blame for horrendous misses from the penalty spot after regulation time stood goalless

Akwa United have emerged champions of the 2017 Federation Cup after defeating Niger Tornadoes 3-2 on penalties in the final at the Agege Stadium.

The Promise Keepers had defeated Yobe Desert Stars 4-2, Shooting Stars 5-0, before 8-2 aggregate win over Katsina United Feeders, 3-2 over Sunshine Stars before edging Abubakar Bala's men to their second title in three years.

Musa Newman gained the first chance to put the Abdul Maikaba's men in front with a powerful shot from distance but his effort wide in the fifth minute.

Three minutes later, Wilfred Ammeh located Wakili Mohammed in the Akwa's box with a brilliant pass but the latter failed to make the best of it as he lost his balance.

Ibrahim Babawo - Akwa's major troubler on the left wing found Wakili inside the area with a fine cross but the latter was ruled offside in the 24th minute.

In the 35th minute, Ammeh pushed forward in the search for an opener with his pass into the area which Wakili latched on, forcing goalkeeper  Olorunleke Ojo to a brilliant save.

10 minutes to the break, the Uyo based outfit attacked increasingly offensive with Christian Pygbara and Musa Newman on the attack but Tornadoes' Sunday Akinmoladun and Andrew Ikefe were at their best to keep them at bay.

In the second half, Wakili squeezed past his marker to find a space in the area but his low shot was easily saved by Ojo in the 57th minute.

Akwa's substitute Gabriel Okechukwu, who replaced topscorer Christian Pygbara came close but he was stopped by Andrew Ikefe's quick clearance in the 67th minute.

Moments later, Ubong Friday and Musa Newman both pulled through after finding a space near the area but their efforts were calmly saved by goalkeeper Aliko Mustapha.

In the 85th minute, Akwa mounted pressure on Tornadoes' defense with Okechukwu yet finding an advantage in a one on one situation but he blew away his side's glorious chance to secure the victory.

 Tornadoes and Akwa avoided conceding late to end the contest in a goalless draw before Abdul Maikaba's side nicked victory via penalties.

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The win means Akwa United carted away the trophy, 25 million naira cash prize and a ticket to next year's Caf Confederation Cup, while runners-up Niger Tornadoes got 15 million naira.

Meanwhile, Akwa's Ojo claimed the best goalkeeper and most valuable player of the competition, while mate Pybgara won the top scorer gong with seven goals.

 

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