Federation Cup: Niger Tornadoes and Kano Pillars qualify for final

Kano-Pillars-Rabiu Ali-Adesola
The Ikon Allah Boys overcame Rivers United while Sai Masu Gida survived a scare from Calabar Rovers to pull through

Niger Tornadoes and Kano Pillars have secured berths in the 2019 Federation Cup final following their victorious outings on Thursday in Lagos and Markurdi respectively.

While Tornadoes pulled off an upset in Lagos; beating Rivers United 2-1 at the Agege Stadium, Pillars were pushed to the wire before overcoming Calabar Rovers 4-2 on penalties after the Nigeria National League side had forced them to a 1-1 draw in regulation time.

In the sémi-final at the Agege stadium, it was Rivers United that struck first in the 11th minute through Kehinde Adedipe before Eric Frimpong equalised for the Ikon Allah Boys five minutes later.

Just before half time, Dosso Saib’s well-taken free kick saw Tornadoes take the lead and they held on until the final whistle to seal their third Cup final qualification in 19 years.

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Tornadoes, who were relegated from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) to the second tier NNL, have now picked up a continental football ticket as their opponent in the final. Kano Pillars have already secured the ticket to represent Nigeria in the Caf Champions League.

Coach Mohammed Bala's men will team up with Enugu Rangers in the Caf Confederation Cup.

For many, the 2019 Federation Cup final is well-poised as it pitches the 2017 runners-up Tornadoes against the 2018 runners-up Pillars.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is yet to announce the date and venue for the Cup final.