The beauty of cup competitions globally is the upsets they provide but there was nothing of such on Saturday when clubs in Nigeria’s elite football division Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) participated in the 2018/19 Aiteo Cup for the first time.
Eleven teams that participated in the 2018/19 NPFL season were in action in Round of 64 matches against lower league oppositions on Saturday and they all scaled the hurdle, waiting for Monday’s draw for the Round of 32.
Current cup holders Rangers International defeated Niger Tornadoes Feeders 2-0 in Ibadan with goals from midfielders Chiamaka Madu and Godwin Aguda. 2017 champions Akwa United also had goals from defender Dennis Nya and forward Ndifreke Udo Effiong to thank in a 2-1 win over Sokoto United in Abuja.
Peter Ubakanma’s brace propelled Rivers United to a 4-0 win over Timber Loaders FC while Samad Kadiri scored the only goal of the game as Lobi Stars edged Kebbi United 1-0 despite a penalty miss by striker Michael Stephen.
The top two teams at the recently held NPFL Championship Playoffs Enyimba and Kano Pillars will be involved in their own Round of 64 fixtures on Sunday.
Sokoto United 1-2 Akwa United
Abia Warriors 1-0 Heartland Comets
Jigawa Golden Stars 1-2 Bendel Insurance FC
Rivers United 4-0 Timberloader FC
Kebbi United 0-1 Lobi Stars
Niger Tornadoes 3-0 Fasbir FC
Rangers Int’l 2 – 0 Niger Tornadoes Feeders
Wikki Tourists 4-0 Qatar FC
Delta Force 4-0 Walli Flamingos
Setraco United 0-4 Plateau United
Gwandu United 2-4 Katsina United
Kwara United (W/O) Ben Ayade FC
Gombe united FC (W/O) FC Ifeanyiubah Feeders
Enyimba FC vs Kano Pillars Feeders – Ilorin
Aspire FC vs Kano Pillars – Abuja
Police FC Osogbo vs El-Kanemi Warriors – Lafia
Katsina United Feeders vs Nasarawa United – Kaduna
Layin Zomo FC vs Sunshine Stars – Lokoja
Other round of 64 results (Non-NPFL teams)
Gateway United 1 Almar FC 0
Warri Wolves 2 Doma United 1
Cynosure 2 Mighty Jets 2 (Cynosure win 5-4 after penalties)
Yobe Desert Feeders 0 Smart City 1
Osun United 0 Shooting Stars 1
Ekiti United 4 Ebonyi United 0
Spartans 0 Port Harcourt City 1
Kogi United 3 Akure City 3 (Kogi United win 3-0 after penalties)
Amanda FC 1 Calabar Rovers 2
FC De-Leo 1 EFCC 1 (EFCC win 5-4 after penalties)
Aklosendi FC 3 Zabgai FC 1
Crown FC 3 Bayelsa United Feeders 0
Adamawa Heroes 0 ABS FC 7