A 64th-minute goal from Ibinabo Georgewill was all defending Champions of the Women’s Aiteo Cup, Rivers Angels, needed to make it a fourth straight final against Delta Queens inside the Abakaliki Township stadium on Friday.
The Okowa Ladies had the first bite via a free kick in the 7th minute which was taken by Ikekhua Oghenebrume but it was no worry for a confident Chiamaka Nnadozie to gather.
The Jewel of Rivers then took possession of play as they mounted pressure on the opposition with Orji Chiwendu and Ibinabo Georgewill failing to bury their chances in the early minutes.
In the 23rd minute, Delta Queens won another free kick outside the 18yard box and once again, Ikekhua stepped up to take it, but this time around, her effort went wide.
In the 33rd minute, a Josephine Mathias delivery from a corner kick hit the top of the post to go over for a goal kick.
The defending Champions were denied a goal by the officials in the 43rd minute when Georgewill headed home from close range but goalkeeper Onuegbu Ihuoma mischievously brought out the ball and a freekick awarded to them for infringement.
Both sides headed for the break with no goals but on the resumption of the second half, Nnadozie was forced to parry a shot from Ekong Rose in the 49th minute for a corner kick.
In the 53rd minute, Rivers Angel’s Blessing Okpe came on for Cynthia Aku and 11 minutes later, she made the difference as her pass to Georgewill ended up in the net as the striker made no mistake in finding the target from close range.
Head Coach of Rivers Angels, Edwin Okon was full of excitement after the game.
The former Super Falcons coach said the win didn’t come easy.
“I want to start by appreciating God because I am the happiest man on earth,” began Okon.
“Every match is a final to us and being the defending champion, our opponents try as much as they can to unseat us.
“I am only looking forward to defending our title and making the state proud.
“All the team needs is total support and prayers from our supporters,” he added.
Stand-in captain, Oluwatobiloba Olanrewaju attributed the win to playing to the instructions of the coaches.
“We gave our very best to earn the victory which we got here today,” said Olanrewaju.
“We followed the coaches’ instructions and we were very determined.
“We outplayed our opponent, but above all, we give glory to God for the win,” added the former Sunshine Queens defender.
Rivers Angels will be looking forward to winning a record 9th Cup title as they face Nasarawa Amazons in this year’s final.