Defending Champions Heartlands of Nigeria retained their crown in style with a 5-2 slicing of Telkom Orange of Kenya in the final match of the Africa Cup for Club Champions Competition played in Abuja Nigeria.
Incidentally, it was Telkom that who took the lead on the 20th minute mark through a Jackie Atieno strike from open play. Heartlands had to wait till the 30th minute before snatching the equalizer through an Obeifula Oluchi penalty corner deflection. Justina Onyedum increased the tally a minute before half time.
After recess, Heartlands never looked back and sought to seal the game. In a 5 minute spell, they went up 4-1 with goals from Debbie Salah (41st) and Obeifula Oluchi (56th). Florence Olal pulled one back from a penalty stroke but Heartlands sealed the victory with a well-worked goal in the 67th to seal the victory and to ensure the trophy stays in Nigeria.
In the men’s encounter, Sharkia once again made light work of Police Union when they whitewashed them 5-1 in a near one-sided match. Sharkia went ahead in the 8th minute through an Ezz El Din Ahmed penalty corner goal and kept that lead till the 33rd minute when Police Union drew level from captain Al Sayed Adnan’s well executed penalty corner.
On resumption, Sharkia turned on the style and went ahead in 37th minute through a Mahmoud Hosam field goal. Two rapid goals on the 54th and 58th from a penalty corner conversion by Ezz El Din Ahmed and a penalty stroke goal by Ahmed Hassan respectively, effectively put the tie beyond the Policemen. Ezz El Din concluded the route and earned his hat-trick with a sizzling drive from open play.
By winning the Gamal Shirazi Cup, Sharkia have won the right to represent Africa in the inaugural men’s World Club Championships to be held in Barcelona Spain in January 2009.
The medal ceremony was conducted by the Secretary General of the African Hockey Federation Nii Quaye-Kumah alongside the Egyptian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Sherif Naguib and the Kenyan High Commissioner to Nigeria and Ghana, His Excellency Daniel Koikai.
Dignitaries who joined the hockey family during the finals were Honorable Ningi, Majority Leader, Nigerian House of Representatives, Matilda van der Wiev, wife of His Excellency the Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria. Football was represented by two of Nigerian Football Federation’s kingpins, NFF member Mr. Robinson Okuson and former Secretary General Sanni Toro.
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