After much heated preparation for HiFLNigeria which had begin since July 23, 2018, the Jersey for the match was revealed July 25, 2018, the Higher institution Football League, through her twitter page, released the tournament bracket that represents the series of game to be played during and after the knockout stage with different knockout tournament formats having different brackets. The take-off had started since August 1, 2018, and it is expected to end on November 3, 2018.
The opening match which took off at Unilag Sports Centre saw Unilag marines and Uniben Royals play a thrilling match with a 1-1 draw. The goals were scored by Robert Odu for Unilag at the 28 minutes and Ikechukwu Okoro for Uniben.
Another match, on the same day, went down to history as BUK Stallions defeated UDU Sultans by a 1-0 win after an early score by John Abu, while ATBU Bravehearts and UniJos Highlanders ended their match with a goalless draw. The day’s final match saw Unical Malabites taking away the voice of UNN Lions through Charles Ufot.
As the game continued gaining momentum, the match shifted attention to August 8, 2018 where matches had beguiled by 4pm at each playing spot. Twitter became home for UI-OAU On A 3-3 Draw. Football lovers and comments were flowing in from different sides. Some expressed hope despite the higher expectation on the day as supports filled the stadia up to brim.
— OAU Giants (@OAUGiants) August 9, 2018
The silence of DelSU Titans was gained with a 3-2 win from University of Port Harcourt Shark as the game played on at Uniport games ground, University of Port-Harcourt.
The scores were made by Itaya Andrain at 30 minutes, John at 47 minutes and Billy at 90+ minutes for Uniport Sharks and Obaro Ogumudea and Jeremiah Osiobe at 29 minutes and 90+ minutes respectively.
At the Main bowl stadium, Unilorin warriors, at home, also treated ABU Nobles moderately wild with a 1-0 takeaway scored by Ogunrombi Awwal at 78 minutes.
At the end of the game, he said “It is an award for the team and hopefully it will spur me into leading the team to qualify”. The coach, Gambari Isiaka, said “It was a deserved win and we will do everything to make sure we qualify when we get to Zaria”
Abdullahi Isah, the coach of ABU Nobles, despite the loss said after the game that “A moment of loss of concentration cost us the game, but Ilorin warriors should consider themselves out of the tournament”.
Sent by ABU Nobles was a congratulatory message to Unilorin warriors which reads, “Congratulations to @ilorinwarriors for the win, it was really a tough match. This is just the beginning, we lost the battle but we haven’t lost the war.
We will be waiting for you come 22nd of August and we promise to give it our best. Congratulations once again and enjoy your win.”
The match between University of Maiduguri Desert warriors and the University of Agriculture, Makurdi Tillers sent chill down the spine of both teams as they made head for the win with a 1-1 draw by Isaac, the captain No. 10 at 11 minutes and Ebuka at 2 minutes, played while there was heavy rain.
Earlier before the match, the Captain of UAM in a short interview had turned the worth of its sister opponent, UNIMAID saying, “They are no warriors, we are the warriors.” The match which started by 4pm at each playing station also took off at the Sport complex of University of Ibadan on August 8, 2018 as OAU Giants and UiPioneers made way to a 3-3 draw.
The second goal for UI was scored by Chukwuemeka Victor at 18 minutes, while Biola known as Ozil scored within 3minutes and 45 minutes respectively. OAU also came with a giant stride to equalize with three scores from Adeyemi Opeyemi at 34 minutes and Oripelaye Kehinde at 37 minutes and 77 minutes respectively.
One @Hood Ini on twitter said that “the match didn’t go as we wanted”, further expressing hope that “we’ll come back better and stronger. Shout outs to our brothers from Ife, we’ll see you soon. We own this @HiFLNigeria all the way”
He said “We would work towards achieving greatness at the 2nd leg on the 22nd of August.”
One Habeeb wrote “It was a fair game from @UIPioneers who feel they should have gotten more from the game. The coach left key players like @Eyitee7 and @Moshoode12 and Samuel on the bench” football lovers and comments were flowing in from different sides. Some expressed hope despite the higher expectation on the day as supports filled the stadia up to brim.
— Habeeb (@HabeebS_) August 8, 2018