Former Federation Cup champions Enyimba, Akwa United and Kano Pillars were three of high profile names that were eliminated from the 2023 Fed Cup on Wednesday, www.aclsports.com reports.
While Enyimba and Kano Pillars were eliminated by Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) sides, Akwa United and Shooting Stars lost on penalties to second division sides.
Playing at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, ten-man Enyimba let a two-goal lead slip before eventually succumbing to wounded Plateau United on penalties.
The People’s Elephant got their noses in front in the 44th minute after Plateau defender Ifeanyi Emmanuel diverted a vicious cross into his own net. Chigozie Chilekwu then netted Enyimba’s second goal in the 75th minute after curling home a brilliant free kick.
Enyimba were reduced to ten men earlier though after Chibuike Nwaiwu got a second booking in the 57th minute. United however scored two goals in the final five minutes to take the game to shootout.
First, Saidu Salisu converted from the penalty spot in the 88th minute after Mustapha Ibrahim Yuga was upended by Chikamso Okechukwu before Moses Adikwu headed home in stoppage time. Plateau United won 3-2 on penalties.
Goalscorers Chigozie Chilekwu, defender Somiari Alalibo and midfielder Fatai Abdullahi missed their spot kicks as Finidi George’s men bowed out.
2017 champions Akwa United were also not lucky in Awka when they lost to EFCC on penalties. The second division side took a shock lead in the 3rd minute and although Azeez Olamilekan levelled with a header in the second half, rising young centre back Wisdom Ndon missed the crucial spot kick as Akwa United bowed out 8-9 on penalties.
AKWA UTD ✅✅✅❌✅ ✅ ✅ ✅✅❌
We are out of the Federation Cup
(Akwa Utd 1-1 EFCC regulation time)#AKWEFCC#FACUP23— Akwa United FC (@AkwaUnited_fc) May 10, 2023
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In the same vein, NPFL side Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) were also dumped out by NNL giants Warri Wolves on penalties after regulation time ended goalless in the game decided at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri. Strikers Sikiru Alimi and Anthony Okachi missed from the spot for Shooting as Wolves ravaged onto the round of 16.
In the marquee match of the round, Rangers International thrashed Kano Pillars 2-0 in Abuja in a repeat of the memorable 2018 final. This time, Rangers made the most of their superiority in football divisions as two first half goals by Godwin Obaje gave them the win.
NPFL Group A leaders Bendel Insurance beat Ahudiya Nnem of Abia State 1-0 in Calabar courtesy of Ismael Sarki’s 72nd minute goal to reach the round of 16 while the Insurance Feeders team came from a goal down to beat Osun United 2-1 in Lagos.
Doma United of Gombe hit Fr Eburuaja 4-0 in Abuja with striker Charles Chibuike netting an impressive hattrick but just relegated NPFL team El-Kanemi Warriors were conquered by non-league Ingas of Enugu in Kaduna. Ingas won 9-8 on penalties after regulation time had ended 1-1 at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium.
Other NPFL teams Sunshine Stars, Lobi Stars, Nasarawa United and Kwara United secured straight forward passages to the next round with the latter lashing hapless Ikorodu City 3-1 in Osogbo courtesy of a well-taken brace by striker Samad Kadiri.
So proud of this group. What a fight 👏👏— IkoroduCityFC (@IkoroduCityFC) May 10, 2023
Our first federation cup appearance ends in the round of 32#FederationCupR32#OgaBoys #WeAreIkoroduCityFC pic.twitter.com/B5zmxWGZDB
Fed Cup Round of 32 results
Heartland FC (Imo) 2-1 Essien Ayi FC (Cross River) – Awka
Ahudiya (Abia) 0-1 Bendel Insurance (Edo) – Calabar
Standard FC (Kaduna) 0-2 Sunshine Stars (Ondo) – Lokoja
EFCC FC (FCT) 1-1 Akwa United (Akwa Ibom) – Awka. EFCC win 9-8 on penalties.
Warri Wolves (Delta) 0-0 3SC (Oyo) – Owerri. Wolves win 4-3 on penalties.
Osun United (Osun) 1-2 Insurance Feeders (Edo) – Lagos
Cynosure FC (Ebonyi) 1-2 Lobi Stars (Benue) – Abuja Area 3
Plateau United (Plateau) 2-2 Enyimba FC – Benin City. Plateau win 3-2 on penalties.
Ingas FC (Enugu) 1-1 El-Kanemi Warriors (Borno) – Kaduna. Ingas win 9-8 on penalties.
Nasarawa United (Nasarawa) 3-2 DMD FC (Borno) – Bauchi.
Ikorodu City (Lagos) 1-3 Kwara United (Kwara) – Osogbo.
FC Ebedei (Ekiti) 4-0 Igbajo FC (Osun) – Ibadan – 10/05/23 – 4pm
Rangers Int’l (Enugu) 2-0 Kano Pillars (Kano) – Abuja Goal Project
FR Ebunuja (Imo) 0-4 Doma United (Gombe) – Abuja Area 3
Edel FC (Anambra) 1-0 Mailantarki FC (FCT) – Akure.
Thursday May 11
Mighty Jets (Plateau) Vs Gombe United (Gombe) – Kano – 10/05/23 – 4pm