Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) leaders, Wikki Tourists, were eliminated from the 2016 Federation Cup by Crown FC in a quarterfinal clash that ended 3-4 on penalties on Wednesday.
The game played at the scenic Confluence Stadium in Lokoja finished goalless after 90 minutes despite the Tourists head coach, Abdu Maikaba, listing a strong starting line-up.
Maikaba named Godwin Obaje, Idris Guda Mohammed, Harrison Madu, Idris Sabo and the in-form goalkeeper Emeka Nwabulu in the startlist to face Crown FC.
In the Crown FC’s line-up put out by their head coach, Fatai Osho, the most experienced name was goalkeeper Michael Uweru as they had little chance from the kickoff when the referee, Haruna Shuaibu, signalled for the start of the game.
Hammed Yaqub came close twice to giving Crown FC the lead inside 23 minutes but on both occasions could not compose himself to finish perfectly.
NPFL top scorer, Obaje, was not given a sniff of any chance Crown FC’s backline which crowded him out once he comes in contact with the ball.
On the hour mark, Crown FC striker, Peter Michael, shrugged off his markers and set himself up for the kill but fired off target with just Nwabulu in Wikki’s goal to beat.
Two minutes later, the Crown FC forward missed a sitter after great work from his teammates, Yaqub and Samuel Ganda.
In the last quarter of an hour of the contest, Obaje had his first real sight at goal but missed target.
Sensing that the seconds were ticking away, both coaches sent on their reserves goalkeepers in preparation for penalties.
Crown FC gaffer, Osho, sent on substitute goalkeeper, Adeniyi Adejare, for Uweru while Nwabulu made way for Gideon Gambo in Wikki’s goal.
Aleem Adebayo missed Crown FC’s first spot kick while Adejare kept out Wikki’s third kick.
At 3-2 in favour of the NPFL leaders, Peter Ambrose stepped up to take Wikki’s fifth kick to seal the game, but Adejare pulled off a save and then Ganda scored Crown FC’s fifth kick to even the shootout at 3-3.
The kicks then went into sudden death. Saidu Abdullahi missed Wikki’s kick before Owoicho Edoka fired Crown FC into the semi-final.