Akwa United and Rangers International were sent packing from the 2021 Aiteo Cup at the hands of lower-league opposition after 1-0 defeats to Gateway FC and Bayelsa United, respectively, in the Round of 32 of the prestigious cup competition.
NPFL leaders Akwa United have lost only four times in the league this season but fell at the first hurdle in the Cup they won in 2017 at the hands of a spirited NNL side, Gateway FC. Gateway forward Julius Ikechukwu scored the game’s only goal in the first half as they defended stoutly to complete a remarkable cup upset. They will face one of Osun United or Wikki Tourists in the Round of 16.
Six-time Aiteo Cup winners, Rangers International were stunned by NNL side Bayelsa United 1-0 in their Aiteo Cup Round of 32 tie in Ijebu Ode. Victory Beniangba scored the game’s only goal in the first half of the encounter to send Bayelsa United to a last 16 tie against Lobi Stars, another NPFL side.
Kano Pillars avoided a shock after they held off a spirited comeback from Lagos-based non-league side Smart City FC to win 4-2 and progress to the Round of 16 in the Aiteo Cup. David Ebuka, Joseph Yanki and Aniekeme Okon scored to put Sai Masu Gida 3-0 up before their non-league opposition scored twice to set up a tense finale. Kano Pillars striker Nyima Nwagua scored in the 90th minute to settle the encounter.
Abia Warriors booked their place in the Round of 16 of the Aiteo Cup with a 5-0 thumping of FC Zamfara United. Bello Lukman scored a hat trick and added an assist in the game with Obioma Chukwuemeka and Samuel Christian scoring the other goals.
In other results, Sunshine Stars defeated Kogi United 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation time.
NNL side Green Beret shocked NPFL outfit Warri Wolves 5-4 on penalties after they drew 1-1 in regulation time.
Rivers United defeated Sokoto United 2-1 to progress to the Round of 16 of the Aiteo Cup.
Lobi Stars defeated Yobe Desert Stars 1-0 to book their Round of 16 ticket.
Heartland defeated Ekiti United on penalties 5-4 after their match ended 0-0 in regulation time.
Niger Tornadoes FC defeated Mai Anguwa FC 2-0 to progress to the Round of 16 of the tournament.
Katsina United avoided an upset when they defeated El Kanemi Warriors 5-3 on penalties after a goalless draw between the sides.