Finalsts have emerged in the 2023 edirion of the football event of the Anambra State Traders sports competition.
Iron Rod Market, Atani, Sunday, cruised to the final after a hard fought 2-1 semi final victory over New Motor Spare Parts Market, Nnewi.
Iron Rod Market, Atani, are unbeaten so far in the competition and will face Nkwo Umunze in Sunday's grand finale at Awka City Stadium.
The Atani Boys went into an early lead, 15 minutes after kick off but the Anaedo Boys drew level on the dot of the first half, ensuring both teams went into the half time break on level terms.
The second half was barely six minutes old when Iron Rod Market went into the lead again. New Motor Parts Nnewi fought hard to but could not get the needed equaliser.
While Iron Rod Market Atani will meet Nkwo Umunze in Sunday's final, Nnewi New Parts Market will slug it out with Ajasa Market in the third place match.
Iron Rod Market Atani coach, Sabastine Wenger, was delighted his team won the gritty clash.
"It was a difficult match but I'm happy we won. I'm looking forward to the final and it's my ultimate ambition to win it", coach Wenger said.
Similarly, Evaristus Ejezie, Chairman of Iron Rod Market, Atani, was full of praises to God for making it possible for them to win the game.
"It can only be God, no other person else and I return all the glory to Him.
"I've remained confident since the competition started and believed that God, whom I serve, will do it for us. He's been doing it for us because we haven't lost any match since the competition started.
"And having led us thus far, I'm also convinced He will make it possible for us to win the cup. That's our prayer, that's our conviction. By the grace of God Almighty, we'll be crowned champions on Sunday in Awka and we will return home with the cup", a jubilant Ejezie who stormed Godwin Achebe Stadium, Fegge, Onitsha, venue of the match with his Chaplet, said.
Ironically, an official of Old Motor Spare Parts Market,i Obosi, Zeleti, expressed bitterness that his team was disqualified for the semi final despite defeating Nnewi New Motor Parts Market 4-1 in the quarter final.
He said Nnewi's defeat by Iron Rod Market Atani amounts to 'nemesis' catching up with them.
"We defeated them 4-1 in the quarter final. They wrote a petition against us, claiming we fielded six ineligible players.
"We were invited to Awka and presented our defence as they requested but sadly, they told us we've been disqualified.
"We had opportunity to appeal the verdict but our chairman said we should allow the sleeping dog to lie. Today, nemesis has caught up with them".