High flying Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) sides Kano Pillars and Nasarawa United on Wednesday advanced to the last eight of the 2021 Aiteo Cup but 2003 champions Lobi Stars were ousted by a lower division side.
Playing in Minna, 2019 champions Pillars were held 0-0 by Kebbi United but Sai Masu Gida triumphed 3-2 on penalties to book a spot to face Sunshine Stars who also defeated Green Beret 5-4 on penalties with goalkeeper Henry Ayodele once again the hero.
Nasarawa United recorded a resounding win over fellow top tier side Plateau United in Lokoja to also advance. Anas Yusuf scored twice while league’s topscorer Silas Nwankwo added a third as the Solid Miners ran out 3-1 winners.
The shock of the day came at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri where second division Bayelsa United outclassed Lobi Stars 2-0. Two first half goals by Emo James and Inikurogha Okardi gave United the win.
Bayelsa United will now face fellow second division side Gateway United who outlasted NPFL side Wikki Tourists in Enugu after penalty shootout. Gateway won the spot kicks 4-3 after regulation time had ended 0-0.
Rivers United thrashed neighbours Heartland 3-1 in a pulsating contest at the Enyimba Stadium, Aba. Goals from Sunday Adetunji as well as substitutes Paul Acquah and Fortune Omoniwari gave United a hard earned win and a place against Niger Tornadoes in the quarter final.
Tornadoes pulled off an impressive 3-2 win over Abia Warriors in Makurdi to book a quarter final place. The Ikon Allah Boys, beaten finalists in 2017 and 2019 raced to a 3-1 lead midway through the second half before winger Yakub Hammed reduced the arrears for Imama Amapakabo’s team.
Round of 16 Results
Gateway 0 (4) – 0 (3) Wikki Tourists
Katsina Utd 1 (4) – 1 (5) Gombe Utd
Green Beret 0 (4) – 0 (5) Sunshine Stars
Kano Pillars 0 (3) – 0 (2) Kebbi United
Abia Warriors 2-3 Niger Tornadoes
Plateau United 1-3 Nasarawa United
Heartland 1-3 Rivers United
Bayelsa United 2-0 Lobi Stars
Quarter final fixtures
Gateway United vs Bayelsa United
Kano Pillars vs Sunshine Stars
Rivers United vs Niger Tornadoes
Nasarawa United vs Gombe United