Aiteo Cup: Akwa United, Rangers eliminated

Aiteo Cup: Akwa United, Rangers eliminated

Two teams that have won the Nigeria FA Cup in the Aiteo Cup era; Akwa United and Rangers International were knocked out of the 2021 tournament by lower division sides, reports

The round of 32 fixtures decided on Wednesday threw up major upsets like Cup competitions across the globe are known for although top Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) sides such as Kano Pillars (technically defending champions) and Abia Warriors enjoyed good wins.

In Abuja, a first half goal by Ikechukwu Julius was all Gateway United needed to beat 2017 champions Akwa United at the FIFA Goal Project pitch.

In Ijebu Ode, another second tier side Bayelsa United edged Rangers International of Enugu (Cup winners in 2018) 1-0 to advance to the round of 16. An early strike by Victory Beniangba settled the contest at the Dipo Dina Stadium.

Warri Wolves were another top division side eliminated on Wednesday when they lost on penalties to Green Beret FC in Ilorin. Full back Wisdom Jumbo had netted an equaliser from a free kick in the second half after the Seasiders went behind in the first half but they succumbed 4-5 in sudden death penalties.

There were no problems for the two NPFL sides that played at the Lafia centre as Rivers United and Abia Warriors defeated Sokoto United and Zamfara United respectively.

Winger Rafiu Ishaq scored the winning goal for Rivers United as they won 2-1 against Sokoto while Lukman Bello scored a brace for Abia Warriors in their 5-0 trouncing of Zamfara United.

Strikers Ebuka David Odenigbo, Nyima Nwagua and Rahaqqu Ado were on target for the last winners of the trophy Kano Pillars in their 4-2 win over Lagos representatives Smart City FC.

Three NPFL sides Heartland FC, Sunshine Stars and Katsina United were all lucky as they progressed through the skin of their teeth in penalty shootout victories.

Five more round of 32 games will be decided on Thursday and Friday.

Aiteo Cup Round of 32 Results

Smart City 2-4 Kano Pillars
Gateway United 1-0 Akwa United
Katsina United 0-0 El Kanemi Warriors (AP 5-3)
MaiUnguwa 0-2 Niger Tornadoes
Sunshine Stars 1-1 Kogi United (AP 6-5)
Zamfara 0-5 Abia Warriors
Yobe Desert Stars 0-1 Lobi Stars
Ekiti United 0-0 Heartland FC
(AP 4-5)
Rivers United 2-1 Sokoto United
Rangers 0-1 Bayelsa United
Warri Wolves 1-1 Green Berets (AP 4-5)

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