The Nigerians were at their best as their side silenced Umea to reach their maiden Cup final at Umea Energi Arena
Ayinde Halimatu and Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene were in action as Eskilstuna United beat Umea 4-2 to reach the Swedish Women’s Cup final for the first time in their history.
Before the semi-final match, Nigeria international Ayinde had featured prominently in 3-0 and 1-0 wins over Sundsvall and Hammarby, as well as the final group stage 1-1 draw with Orebro.
For Okobi-Okeoghene, she had fully recovered from her injury and was eager to continue from where she left off last season scoring four times, with an impactful return for Eskilstuna, at Umea.
At Umea Energi Arena, Ayinde earned a starting spot in coach Magnus Karlsson’s team, while compatriot Okobi-Okeoghene was introduced in the second half of the encounter.
In a bid for a first-ever final, Loreta Kullashi got the visitors off to a flying start when she opened the scoring after the 26th minute.
However, Umea bounced back into the contest as Rosa Herreros Ossorio canceled out Kullashi’s opener 10 minutes later to force a stalemate at half-time.
After the restart, Eskilstuna recovered their dominance in the encounter when Kaisa Collin struck seven minutes into the second half to restore the lead for the visitors.
Six minutes later, Karlsson’s team was gifted a penalty and Felicia Rogic converted from the spot to extend the visitors’ lead.
Despite Alexandra Sandstrom pulling one back in Umea’s late fightback, Fanny Andersson netted on the brink of the final whistle to guarantee the progression of Eskilstuna to their maiden final.
Ayinde was in action for 52 minutes in the semi-final for coach Karlsson’s side, while compatriot Okobi-Okeoghene lasted the final 20 minutes of the encounter on her return from the sidelines.
Having edged the four-time winners, Eskilstuna will await their opponents in the final from the winner of Sunday’s second semi-final between holders Hackens and Rosengard.
Before the final, the Nigerian duo will now shift focus on international duties with Nigeria as they are expected to be called up by Randy Waldrum for a four-nation tournament in Lagos this week.