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Holders Kano Pillars sent crashing out of Aiteo Cup in quarterfinals

Rivers United, Nasarawa United progress to last four

Aiteo Cup holders Kano Pillars were knocked out of the competition at the quarterfinal stage after they fell to Sunshine Stars 1-0 in their last eight encounter. Just days after losing to Sunshine Stars in their NPFL encounter, Kano Pillars could not do anything as Sunshine striker Sadeeq Yusuf scored the game’s only goal in the 48th minute of the encounter to send the underdog side to the last four of the competition, where they will meet fellow NPFL side Nasarawa United.

Nasarawa United avoided an upset when they defeated NNL side Gombe United 1-0 in their Aiteo Cup quarterfinal. Red-hot Nasarawa United striker Silas Nwankwo scored what turned out to be the match-winner on the stroke of halftime to continue helping his side challenge for accolades on both domestic fronts. Nasarawa United will face Sunshine Stars for a place in the final.

Rivers United booked their place in the 2021 Aiteo Cup semifinals with a hard-fought 1-0 win over NNL side and 2019 finalists Niger Tornadoes. The Pride of Rivers were forced to rest a number of key players owing to the fixture congestion at this stage of the season, and they engaged the Ikon Allah Boys in an open match. Fortune Omoniwari’s 92nd-minute strike turned out to be the winner for Rivers United, securing an encounter with Bayelsa United in the semifinals.

Bayelsa United overcame their fellow NNL side Gateway United FC on penalties to qualify for the semifinals of the competition. Emo James scored to give Bayelsa United the lead before Julius Ikechukwu thundered home an equaliser for Gateway United. The game went to penalties, and while Bayelsa United converted five spot kicks, Gateway converted only four. Bayelsa United will now look to continue their fairytale ride as a South-South derby against Rivers United in the semifinals of the competition.

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