By Victor Okoye
Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Abuja Branch on Monday defeated NSE Ilorin Branch 2-0 to emerge winners of the 2021 National Engineering Games in Abuja.
Two first half goals from Aslem Okoro and Osas Agbonile were enough to see off the Ilorin-based side and give NSE Abuja Branch side a fourth successive victory in the history of the games.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defending champions came into the final after walk over of NSE Calabar branch in the semi-finals.
NSE Ilorin Branch on the other hand walloped NSE Apapa Branch 5-0 to book a final berth with the defending champions.
The Abuja-based side dominated the first half from the blast of the referee’s whistle and only had to wait 10 minutes later to take the lead through Okoro’s right-footed strike.
Man-of-the-tournament Agbonile who scored a total of five goals, doubled the lead in the 21st minute, curling a fine finish into the far corner after a lovely cross which split the opponent’s defence.
NAN also reports that the winners pocketed a whopping N500,000 and the first runners up smiled home with N300,000 while the second runners up, the NSE Apapa Branch team, took home N200,000.
Douglas Oloton, the Team Manager of NSE Abuja Branch, told newsmen after the game that the team’s success was as a result of several months of training and hardwork.
“We are very excited for the victory. We’ve been training week-in week-out ahead of the competition and defeated alot of our opponents in the course of the qualifiers to get to this point.
“Incidentally, we had met our opponents in the final in the 2015 edition of the tournament in Ilorin and defeated them by the same margin.
“So, we knew our opponents’ style of play and worked on a perfect strategy to defeat them once again on home soil,” he said.
President of NSE Babagana Mohammed told newsmen that the 2021 NSE Games had intoned the association’s drive in fostering fitness and unity among the country’s professionals.
The NSE boss said that the event had indeed fostered unity and promoted healthy living through sporting activities amongst NSE professionals.
“This initiative is aimed at fostering unity amongst the diverse ethnic groups that make up the association.
“Life is not all about work, we have to be healthy and at peace with each other in order to enjoy our hard earned wealth.
“We intend to make this an annual event after the last Games were hosted six years ago.
“We have over 100 competitors from Imo, Calabar, Kaduna, Borno, Gombe, Gusau, Benin, Rivers, Enugu and we hope that when they go back to their respective states, they will commence zonal competitions,” he said.
Margaret Oguntala, an Executive Director of Kenol Nig. Ltd., sponsors of the football tournament said sponsoring the games was part of the company’s Coporate Social Responsibility.
“It feels great to sponsor this tournament as we are satisfying one of the objectives of the company which is Corporate Social Responsibility.
“Also, we thought it was expedient for us to be a part of this as corporate fair members of the NSE as a way of contributing to the development of the games of the NSE.
“The idea of the games was conceived in 2011 and we have been sponsoring it annually. It’s gone round across the country with 86 branches of the NSE taking part in the tournament.
“We also intend to contribute to the development of the country through the sporting sector; as engineers we are geared at building and we take nation building as our core mandate,” she said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)