Akwa-Ibom state teams Akwa United and Akwa Starlets completed the Round of 16 lineup in Nigeria’s Football Club Cup competition, AITEO Cup after convincing displays in Uyo on Wednesday.
Games involving both sides were postponed by a week to allow for more works on the Godswill Akpabio Stadium turf ahead of last Friday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Cameroon.
Both teams engaged North Eastern opponents as they look to join fourteen more teams that already know their opponents in the 3rd round.
Starlets, a supposed feeder team of Akwa United opened the day with their first ever official game at the Nest of Champions against Doma United of Gombe. Starlets scored three goals in the first half on their way to a 4-2 victory.
Oliver Udoh netted a double, one in each half to set his side on the road to a comfortable victory before Doma scored twice late on. Udoh’s goals came after Aniekeme Okon (2′) and Archibong Utibe (27′) had given the hosts a dream start but Kabiru Mohammed and Musa Abdulwahab scored inside the last fifteen minutes to make the scoreline respectable.
In the evening kick-off, NPFL side Akwa United showed class and supremacy over NNL Northern Conference side Yobe Desert Stars in a game played under floodlights.
Yobe came into Wednesday’s game highly rated after eliminating former league champions Kano Pillars in the previous round but they could barely withstand the superior fireworks of Abdu Maikaba’s men.
The North Easterners indeed held on for over half an hour with their goalkeeper Olatunji Odekunle producing wondrous saves to keep them in the game. The Promise Keepers however got onto the lead on 36 minutes when new CHAN Eagles invitee Ubong Friday headed home Kodjovi Dadzie’s corner.
Dadzie was involved once again as United double their lead in first half stoppage time. His shot from range deflected off the head of Yobe defender Ahmed Shittu and looped over Odekunle into the top corner.
Substitute Hassan Babangida added United’s 3rd on 68 minutes when he blasted home a rebound after Odekunle had spilled Afeez Aremu’s shot. The was still enough time for another substitute Michael Ibe Okoro to score his side’s 4th seven minutes from time after a good team move.
United will face fellow top division side Shooting Stars at the same venue next midweek in their Round of 16 clash while Starlets have a daunting task against NPFL league leaders Plateau United.