Sports

How Imo Strikers Queens Rise to Stardom

How Imo Strikers Queens Rise to Stardom

…Rally support from Football Enthusiasts

Imo Strikers Queens FC of Imo State has once more proved to football followers in the country that they are one of the best female teams going by the record created at the just ended Sheroes Football Championship in Abuja.

The young-enterprising side from the Eastern Heartland beat Dannaz Ladies of Lagos by a lone goal to win the pre-season tournament organised by Ratels Sports Development Foundation for teams in the Nigerian Women Football League and nationwide clubs.

The team that is barely one year and eight months has always ended on the podium in every tournament in the last one year.

Their rise to prominence began in July 2021 when they honoured late female football icon, Henrietta Ukaigwe at the inaugural edition of the annual lecture organized by Wakawaka Sports Extra and the Imo State Football Association in July 2021.

The team proceeded to the wife of Chief of Naval Staff tournament in Abuja and came third, followed by the National Youth Games in Ilorin where they finished second.

The Owerri-based side were victorious at the Soccer Queens Tournament in Lokoja, with Harmony Achifula emerging as the best player and highest goals scorer in the tournament.

The young ladies continued the momentum in Benin City for the National Women Lower League Playoff where they defeated every team to qualify for the second tier women league in the country.

Also, last December the team came second at the Ann Ifeanyi Chiejine Invitational tournament in a controversial manner to Prince Kazeem Elebute of Lagos.

With the stage set for the Sheroes tournament, it was an opportunity to settle the soccer supremacy between the two teams.

One player was missing, the wonder-girl Harmony Achifula, who has been out of the game for a while due to injury as football enthusiasts became afraid of what will happen to the team without her.

The team began on a fast note winning her first game by 4-0 and Walter Ezeka stepping in for Harmony with a hattrick in the first game.

As things were not looking good for the team in her second game, Harmony came in, equalized and provided the double assists that won the game.

The battle royale with Prince Kazeem proved why the team is built around Harmony when she scored the only goal of the game and scored two more goals in the semi finals to set the stage for the final against Dannaz FC.

The defense being marshalled by the captain of the team prisca Nwachukwu and solid control of the midfield saw Coach Nelly Orisakwe team go on to lift her third trophy in a year.

The dazzling display of the ladies from the Eastern Heartland in the final against Dannaz ladies of Lagos at the Area 10 parade ground earned them the first team from the South East to win the tournament.

Speaking to ISQ media Chief and CEO Wakawaka Sports Extra, Kennedy Onwunali after the competition, Prince Chidi said the tournament is part of preparation for the upcoming league season.

Prince Chidi disclosed that the team will stop over in Kogi State for Grade A friendly with Confluence Queens and other teams in Kogi State before returning to Imo State.

He said the major challenge facing the team is transportation while pleading with Imolites to assist in purchasing a bus for the Mbieri Mbaitolu young team, which will make it easier to transport the team to match venues across the country.

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