By Ajayi Adeola
Ekiti State University, male Football Team, EKSU Mountaineers will lock horns with local rivals, Federal University Oye known as FUOYE dazzler in the round-of-16 fixture of the Higher Institution Football League.
Both EKSU and FUOYE are based in the Ekiti state.
This was revealed at the draw organised by PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited, the organisers of the HiFL, the fixtures for the HiFL 2022 Round of 16 and the tournament bracket for the season were revealed.
Director, PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited, Sola Fijabi acknowledged the efforts of all participating schools and encouraged them to maintain their sportsmanlike conduct as the games continue.
“We are now at a very exciting stage of the league. What was witnessed during the group stages is the tip of the iceberg. The schools are ready and what we assured lovers of collegiate sports is double excitement. We appreciate the support of NUGA and our sponsors including StanbicIBTC, BOLD, Hiversa, and the Lagos State Internal Revenue Services (LIRS) as we strive to deliver value to all our stakeholders.”
EKSU Mountaineers posed a huge challenge to star-studded sides including OAU Giants during the qualifiers in Lagos where they recorded five unbeaten streak will seek to do similar feat against fellow derby side.
EKSU Mountaineers began their campaign to the last 16 with the win over UNIOSUN Lakers courtesy of a lone goal by Aladejana Dotun from a 20-yard freekick.
They kept the dream alive with another scintillating 2-1 comeback victory against the OAU Giants.
The last two victories recorded in the previous games helped EKSU to dominate ABUAD Stars with a three nil victory. While a walkover from FUTA Tigers’ absence added an icing, Eksu also recorded two draws against TASUED and UNILAG respectively.
Meanwhile, EKSU Mountaineers coach Babajide Coupon believes the task is not finished despite being pitched against their rivals in the last 16.
“We tried to get our stand from the qualifications to the round of 16,” Coach Babajide said.
“We are not afraid of any team, and we are ready. Although this is a game if football but we are ready and we have been doing this for a long time and we hope we can do it.
“Our main target and focus is to win the trophy this year and to bring the trophy down to Ekiti State University so people will know in this Ekiti State we are doing a great thing”
“In our last stages the only team that gave us a problem is Obafemi Awolowo University and we thank God we defeated them and we emerged as the winner”
Ekiti State University Sport Director, Ojelabi Blessing said: “In the history of HIFL, only big teams do qualify. EKSU broke the jinx. The last time we went for HIFL in 2018 the team was only able to reach round of 32 and now we are in the last 16.
“The School management did well in terms of welfare, and the little we were given was well managed, he concluded.
Eksu Mountaineers are expected to play FUOYE Dazzlers in the first leg game on 27th, July at the University pitch by 4pm.