Rivers Angels remain on course to defend their Federation Cup title after an emphatic 4-1 victory over C.O.D United Ladies in the Round of 16 on Wednesday.
The match, staged in Abuja, saw the more experienced Port Harcourt based-side dominate proceedings from start to finish, giving little room to their opponents and by the 18th minute they were already two goals up.
Mercy Amanze was in marvellous form as she put the 2014/15 double champions in the lead on the 13th minute, then three minutes later, a second goal found the back of the net with love from Loveth Ayila.
Ijeoma Emenike made it 3-0 five minutes to half-time after heading in Mabel Effiom’s corner. She would go on to complete her brace in the second period, but her goal came after Monday Gift had given Ann Chiejine’s Amazons a consolation.
Gift scored two minutes into the second period to give her Lagos based-team a bit of come-back hope at 3-1, but Emenike dashed it on the 65th minute to seal victory for Edwin Okon’s side.
Last year, when both teams met at this same stage, C.O.D United Ladies – who were then in the pro-league – were unsurprisingly suppressed by 6 goals to 1.
In that regard, Coach Edwin Okon admitted that his opponents have improved from when they last met.
“I thank God for the victory, FA Cup is not a thing that you joke over and I have seen improvement in the team (C.O.D Ladies) because we played them last year. Last year it was six, today, it’s four so I want to say there’s improvement,” Okon stated.
He went on to re-emphasize their hunger to retain the Cup this season.
“We are the defending champions; you can as well see the way the team plays. We’ll try as much as we can, some of our players are in the U-20, but all the same we can’t stop the national assignment; we just make do with what we have to the finals, our target is just the Cup because we’re the defending champions.
“We want to win it for the sixth time, we’ve won it five good times, I think if we win this, it will be the sixth time” He added.
Also speaking after the game was C.O.D Ladies coach and former goalkeeper of the Senior women’s National team, the Super Falcons, Ann Chiejine. She explained that her team faced a more experienced opponent and needs more time to mature in the game.
“The graph is rising, I paraded young lads, young girls, school girls, two of them are in school, you cannot compare them with this people, but we’ll get there, give them two, three more years, this people would have been old, we’ll take over,” Ann said.
“It’s gradual, we have a structure, COD is a structured team, we have focus and we have our philosophy, so with time we’ll get to all these ones, we’re not keen about the goals, we want to see how our players can play together, so give us more one, two years, the girls will get there but right now, we have come, we have seen and we’ll go back to our drawing boards,” she concluded.
Here are the results from other centres
Ibom Angels 0-0 Confluence Queens (Penalties 3-5)
Moje Queens 1-4 Edo Queens
Bayelsa Queens 5-1 Beautiful Tour
Osun Babes 3-1 Fortress Ladies
Rising Queens 0-3 FC Robo
Delta Queens 0-3 Nasarawa Amazons (W/O)
Alberto Queens 0-4 Sunshine Queens