For the first time in over 20 years, the final match of the oldest football club competition in Nigeria will be between two Northern clubs as Niger Tornadoes and Kano Pillars have secured berths in the 2019 Federation Cup final.
Tornadoes and Pillars had victorious outings in their semifinal games on Thursday in Lagos and Markurdi respectively.
Despite been seen as the underdogs, Tornadoes came from behind to beat Rivers United 2-1 at the Agege Stadium on Thursday.
On their part, it was harder for Pillars as they were pushed to the wire before finally beating Calabar Rovers 4-2 on penalties.
The Nigeria National League side had forced Pillars to a 1-1 draw in regulation time.
In the sémifinal decided at the Agege stadium, it was Rivers United that scored the first goal of the game in the 11th minute through Kehinde Adedipe.
However, Eric Frimpong equalised for the Ikon Allah Boys five minutes later to shortlived the celebration of coach Stanley Eguma’s team.
Just before half time, Dosso Saib’s well-taken free kick saw Tornadoes take the lead and they held on until the final whistle to seal their second Cup final qualification in three years.
It is a double celebration for Tornadoes already as they have also secured a continental football ticket despite been relegated from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) to the second tier NNL.
The Minna-based team alongside Enugu Rangers will represent Nigeria in the Caf Confederation Cup since their opponent in the Federation Cup final, Kano Pillars have already secured the ticket to represent Nigeria in the Caf Champions League.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are yet to announce the date and venue for the Cup final.
The last all-Northern club final was in 1998 between Plateau United and Wikki Tourist of Bauchi.