Rivers Angels have beaten Ibom Angels 3-0 on penalties after regulation time ended 1-1 at the Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos to clinch the maiden edition of the AITEO Cup on Wednesday.
The Jewel of Rivers are now 10 million naira richer while first-time finalists, Ibom Angels pocketed five million naira for finishing as runners-up.
After a goalless first half, Cynthia Aku opened the scoring in the 49th minute but Glory Ogbonna equalized for Ibom Angels in the 53rd minute.
However it was Tochukwu Oluehi who became hero of the day as she saved three penalties to ensure Rivers Angels emerged champions.
The last time both sides met in the Federation Cup (now AITEO Cup) was in 2013 when Rivers Angels needed a sudden death shootout to beat Ibom Angels in a Round of 16 encounter decided at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri.
The Jewel of Rivers went on to defend their title that year and have remained the most successful team in the cup competition since they claimed their first title in 2010. Meanwhile Ibom Angels were reaching the final for the very first time in their history.
Only three days earlier, Akwa United clinched the men’s AITEO Cup title and it was expected that Ibom Angels would draw inspiration from their male counterparts to bring double celebration for Akwa Ibom State.
Blessing Okpe thought she had put Ibom Angels ahead in the 34th minute but she was adjudged offside.
Then on the other side of the divide, Cecilia Nku’s acrobatic effort went wide to ensure that the score line remained goalless going into the break.
Four minutes into the second period however, Rivers Angels took the lead through a Cynthia Aku header off a Chioma Wogu assist.
But Ibom Angels responded in the 53rd minute through Glory Ogbonda.
The match ended 1-1 and penalties were needed to decide the winner.
Rivers Angels goalkeeper, Tochukwu Oluehi became the hero for her side as she denied Ibom Angels’ Charity Reuben, Glory Ogbonna and Blessing Okpe to ensure victory for Rivers Angels.
Rivers Angels have now won the AITEO Cup a record seven times.
Oluehi, Njoku, Effiom, Ohadugha (Evelyn Nwabuoku 77’), Akpa, Joseph, Ogebe, Aku (Rafiat Sule 56’), Nku, Ojinma (Patience Kalu 54’), Wogu
Unused Subs: Charity John, Ifeoma Ikenokwalu, Catherine Kenneth, Chinaza Uchendu
Andy (Fubiana Briggs 80’), Ibe, Ogbonna, Ottah, Uzor, Titus, Essien, Okpe, Charity, Emmanuel (Uduakobong Peter 50’), Enamino (Unyime Johnson 65’)
Unused Subs: Mercy UdoAkpan, Udeme Uko, Rachael Kolawole, Joan Etenkpa