Will the Nigeria Customs Service win the coveted Maritime Cup for a record sixth time or will the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) win the trophy back-to-back for the first time? This is the big question begging for answer as the two top maritime agencies battle each other in the epic final match of the Maritime Cup 2023 at 3pm today. The match, which promises to be highly entertaining, will be played at the Stable Sports Complex, Surulere, Lagos.
“It is the clash of titans and Trojans. The battleground is ready. It is a must-watch match,” sports commentator and Maritime Cup analyst, Godwin Udofia, said.
NPA’s Koko Marines, who won the trophy in 2018 and 2022, started their Maritime Cup 2023 battle in Group A. In the opening match of the tournament on October 24, the team defeated Nigerian Shippers’ Council 2-0; played a 2-2 draw with Comet Shipping on October 27 and defeated COSCO Shipping 3-0 on October 31 to book the top spot in Group A with seven points.
In the quarterfinal match played on November 6, the Koko Marines defeated 2019 runner-up Josepdam Port Services 2-0 while they defeated 2009 champions Nigerian Navy 1-0 in the semi-final match played on Wednesday November 8.
The Nigeria Customs Service, which has won the trophy for a record five times (2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2017), started the quest for their sixth title in Group D where they played against Nigerian Navy, Blueche Lomado and Trucks Transit Parks (TTP). They defeated Nigerian Navy 2-1 on October 26; beat Blueche 5-0 on October 31 and beat TTP 3-0 on November 2 to qualify to finish on top of Group D with the maximum nine points and a goal difference of +9.
In the quarterfinal match played on November 6, they defeated APM Terminals Apapa 3-0 and triumphed over 2014 champions National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) 1-0 in the semi-final match played on Wednesday November 8.