More memories of the Federation Cup

NFF’s Technical Director, Emmanuel Ikpeme recalls with sparkle in his eyes the 1981 final match between Enugu Rangers and Bendel Insurance, which ended 2-0 in favour of the Coal City boys.

“That was a match. You know, Rangers were still unable to fathom what went wrong three years earlier, when they were pounded 3-0 by Insurance. Insurance was confident that they could repeat the feat, and you know, it was the year after the Green Eagles won the 1980 African Cup of Nations, and the two clubs were well-represented in that team.

“The players on both sides looked forward to another golden session. But Rangers would not have any of the 1978 blues. They went all out and won the day fair and square”.

Ex-international player Siji Lagunju, who is the Chief Technical Officer of the Nigeria Football Federation, said he has so many excellent memories from the Federation Cup.

“Yeah, I was part of the final matches in 1977, 1984 and 1986. But my biggest memory was that of the 1977 final, between my club, Shooting Stars and Raccah Rovers. I was very young, and we had beaten Enugu Rangers in the semi final match, which was played twice. We (Shooting Stars) were also the holders of the African Cup Winners Cup, having won it in 1976.

“It was a tough game, but we won 2-0. In 1984 and 1986, I was a member of the Leventis United team that defeated Abiola Babes 1-0 each way to lift the trophy”.

Yet, he still can’t forget the 1969 final, between Stationery Stores and Mighty Jets, because he wrote a composition on the final match and emerged the best student in the whole of the Western region!
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