SWRL Mini Interpools: Istanbul FA stun Tiko United FC to qualify for 1st ever semi finals.

Istanbul Football Academy has beaten Tiko United FC 2-1 to qualify for their first-ever Mini Interpools semi final with goals from Kans Junior and Robert Koneyi scored for the Buea-based side, while Bache Manfred scored for the Samba boys.

Tiko United FC are making a comeback to the playoffs after missing out last season while Istanbul Football Academy is making its debut in the playoffs since its ascension to the Regional League.

The Molyko Omnisport Stadium was in pandemonium as fans of both clubs filled the stands of the stadium to support their various clubs.

As pundits had predicted, the game is going to be a more physical battle between the two teams as the Samba Boys looked more purposeful within the first five minutes.

Basil Bava of Istanbul Football Academy had a chance from a set piece to open scores but his header wasn’t hard enough to beat goalkeeper Ebere Festus of Tiko United FC.

Then a few minutes later Patrick Moutouri had his shot blocked by an Istanbul Football Academy defender for a corner. Jean Broline and Ekene Livinus squandered good chances to put the 2009 Elite One Champions in front but couldn’t capitalize on the chances.

A few minutes later, the Samba Boys paid for their sins as Kan’s Junior opened the scoring for Istanbul Football Academy in the 26th minute.

Tiko United FC fought for an equalizer but lacked finishing as Istanbul Football Academy almost got a second goal as Atuba Thiery missed a chance to score his sixth goal of the campaign. The momentum of the game increased as both teams went for an aggressive approach.

Former EEMSA striker and top scorer of the league in 2021 Bache Manfred then got the equalising goal for the Samba Boys in the 31st minute. This was his seventh goal of the campaign.

Istanbul Football Academy had a chance to claim their lead after Robert Koneyi’s shot was saved by Ebere Festus.

Robert Koneyi who has three goals to his name – saw his long-range shot go wide. Robert Koneyi will then get the second goal for Istanbul Football Academy at stoppage time to put the Buea-based side in front once again.

Not the first half Tiko United FC had predicted as it ended 2-1 at half time.

Tiko United FC’s hunting for a 10th win of the campaign, as they search for an early equaliser in the second half. The chance came with a header from Patrick Moukouri but his goal was ruled out for offside.

To consolidate their lead, coach Ache Ebenezer brought in Eugene Akpa for Basil Bava to add more strength to his midfield. The Samba Boys continue their search for an equaliser as Bache Manfred’s head missed a cross from Boris Woreku.

A tough decision from coach Kengo Raymond as he takes off Jean Broline who has scored six goals this season and brought in Prince Iko who has scored just two goals this season.

Andrien Aki’s header from an Ekene Livinus assist went inches away from the goal as Tiko United FC are 15 minutes away from a second defeat of the season.

Pressure from Tiko United FC to get the equalizer but Bache Manfred, and Prince Iko squandered their chances. Istanbul Football Academy looked to have a good game plan as they strike Tiko United FC from the counter-attacks.

Istanbul Football Academy had a chance to double their lead at stoppage time but Eugene Akpa’s shot hit the side netting as Tiko United FC will have to wait for a first Mini Interpools final since relegation to the Regional Championship in 2014.

By Jemea Teke Ndumbe

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