Bayelsa United made it two NPFL sides they have knocked out of the Aiteo Cup after their 2-0 win over Lobi Stars in the Round of 16 of the 2021 Aiteo Cup. Emo James opened the scoring for the NNL side after 17 minutes at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri before Okardi Junior added a second on the stroke of halftime to give the side a brilliantly-orchestrated Round of 16 win.
Gateway United FC sent NPFL Wikki Tourists out of this season’s Aiteo Cup after securing a penalty shootout win over the NPFL outfit. After their game ended 0-0 in regulation time, the Ogun state-based side won the penalty shootout 4-3 to advance to the quarterfinals at the expense of their opponents.
Gombe United also followed in the footsteps of Gateway and Bayelsa United by defeating Katsina United on penalties to send the Changi Boys packing from the Aiteo Cup at the Round of 16 stage. After the game ended 1-1 in regulation time, the sides went to penalties, with Gombe United keeping their heads to win the shootout 5-4 and progress to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Niger Tornadoes executed the biggest upset of the Round of 16 with a deserved 3-2 win over Abia Warriors at the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi. The Umuahia Landlords picked up the biggest win of the last round with a 5-0 mauling of Zamfara United. Lukman Mohammed gave the Ikon Allah Boys the lead after 18 minutes before experienced striker Godwin Obaje pulled Abia Warriors level with a bullet header just before the break. Peter Momoh sent the NNL side back in front from the penalty spot just before the hour mark, and seven minutes later, Ahmadu Liman scored to send the Tornadoes bench into wild jubilation. Abia Warriors pulled one back through Hammed Yakubu in the 74th minute but could not find an equaliser as they bowed out of the tournament.
Defending champions, Kano Pillars booked their place in the quarterfinals of the Aiteo Cup after a penalty shootout win over Kebbi United. After their match ended goalless in regulation time, Sai Masu Gida defeated Kebbi United 3-2 on penalties to book their quarterfinal place.
Green Beret FC fell to Sunshine Stars in their Aiteo Cup Round of 16 match, ending their hopes of a fairytale run. After holding the NPFL side to a goalless draw in regulation time, they fell 5-4 on penalties as the Akure Gunners secured their quarterfinal spot.
Rivers United showed their class in an all-NPFL clash against Heartland, winning 3-1 to qualify for the Aiteo Cup quarterfinals. Sunday Adetunji opened the scoring for the Pride of Rivers in the first half before Chijioke Akuneto equalised for Heartland within 6 minutes of the commencement of the second half. Paul Acquah scored to put Rivers United ahead in the 76th minute before Fortune Omoniwari finished off an exquisite counter-attack with the last kick of the game to send Rivers United through to the last eight.
Nasarawa United triumphed over regional rivals Plateau United 3-1 in the other all-NPFL clash of the round at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja. Anas Yusuf opened the scoring for the Solid Miners from the spot after Adamu Hassan was upended in the box. Anas added a second for himself and his team in the 48th minute, converting a pass from Silas Nwankwo. Nwankwo then turned from provider to scorer after he showed good composure to calmly finish in the box and put his side three nil up. Amos Gyang pulled one back for Plateau United for the Peace Boys in the 71st minute.