Niger Tornadoes captain, Aliko Mustapha reveals his frustration after his side lost the Federation Cup final to Akwa United at the Agege Stadium on Sunday evening.
Gabriel Okechukwu scored the decisive penalty kick that saw Abdu Maikaba’s men clinch the silverware after both sides had played out a drab 90 minutes, which ended goalless.
The Ikon Allah Boys had evicted the likes of Nigeria Professional Football League champions, Plateau United and former competition winner, FC IfeanyiUbah on their way to the final. And, although, they were able to contain their enterprising Uyo counterparts for the best part of the encounter, they could not replicate such form in front of goal, and during the shootout that ended 3-2.
And the goalkeeper vents his anger at his team’s inability to better the ‘best team’ in the country’s top division.
“I felt bad today because we saw the trophy but we couldn’t lift it. But I thank God we got the final,” Mustapha told Goal.
“I was very, very angry about it because you know Akwa United also want it and it is you either win or lose. But it is a nice experience; we got to the final which on one gave us the chance to go all the way and here we are.
“I don’t blame my players [that missed the penalties] because football is either you win or lose.
“Akwa United were the best team in the Nigeria Professional Football League this season they play tiki-taka, they play good football. We were set out to frustrate them for 90 minutes and we succeeded, but couldn’t score,” he concluded.
The loss meant Niger Tornadoes will settle for 15 million naira cash prize, while Akwa United were handed 25 million naira and a ticket to next year's Caf Confederation Cup.