Hockey Champions! Kada Stars dethrone Niger Flickers


Kada Stars on Saturday defeated Niger Flickers 2-1 in the penalty shootout to claim the 2018 National Hockey Super League title at the National Stadium in Abuja.

Kada Stars and Niger Flickers played in the finals after finishing first and second in the standings having played seven games in the round-robin.

The Kaduna-based side won six games and drew just one game, while the 2015, 2016, and 2017 champoins, Niger Flickers won five games, lost to Stallions and drew one game to earn a place in the final.

The only time Kada Stars dropped a point was in their game against Niger Flickers when both sides played a 1-1 draw.

The final lived up to its billings as both teams fought tooth and nail for the grand prize while fans and top dignitaries watched on.

After an intense 60 minutes of action that produced no goal, the teams headed into a penalty shootout where Kada Stars won 2-1 after six rounds of penalties.

It ended 1-1 after five penalties were played by each team.

During the sudden death, Adamu Kolo who scored Nigers’ only penalty missed his, while Kelvin Linus who was one of the players who missed during the shootout scored the winning goal to earn Kada Stars the title.

A total of 90 goals were scored during the tournament.

Although, the colours of their medals were different, both teams will represent Nigeria at the 2018 African Cup of Club Champions that would be staged in Abuja in October.

Individual awards were also presented to the top scorer in the men category which went to Mohammed Inuwa of Police Machine with six goals.

The best goalkeeper award went to Abdulkadri Baba of Niger Flickers, while the best midfielder was awarded to Muiz Bello of Stallions.

The best attacker award went to John Peter of Kada Stars, while the best young player was Dennis Solomon of Kada Stars.

The Most Valuable Player (MVP) award was clinched by Kelvin Linus of Kada Stars.

Among top dignitaries present at the Stadium were the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung; President, Nigeria Hockey Federation, Abdul Ningi; and Director of Sports, Niger State, Baba Chair.

Others were Suleiman Hassan, Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing; Hamza Salamatu; Sarki Tafida; Director of Sports, Nigeria Police Force, CP Aliyu Abubakar; and Chairman Albarka Radio, Ladan Salisu.

The tournament, which flicked off on Aug. 24, ended on Saturday.