Newly crowned Nigeria Professional Football League champions Plateau United advanced their quest for an unprecedented double when they led other NPFL teams into the quarter-finals of Nigeria’s Oldest Club Football competition on Wednesday.
Playing away to Nigerian National League side Akwa Starlets in Wednesday’s lunch-time kickoff, United scored once in each half through midfielder Jimmy Ambrose and winger Hamzat Owolabi as they romped to a 2-1 win at the Nest of Champions.
Akwa United 5-1 Shooting Stars SC
In the late kick-off at the Nest of Champions, stadium landlords and 2015 champions Akwa United recorded a comprehensive 5-1 drubbing of fellow top division side Shooting Stars.
Amaechi Orji’s 14-minute hattrick put the Promise Keepers en route to victory before Christian Pyagbara added gloss to the scoreline in stoppage time. Abu Azeez had put the game level at 1-1 for 3SC after Hassan Babangida’s opener for the hosts.
Shooting Stars also lost in a 6-goal thriller the last time they travelled to Uyo, a 4-2 league defeat in April.
FC Ifeanyiubah 3-1 Heartland
Defending Cup champions FC Ifeanyiubah also progressed to the next round after a tumultuous win over ten-man Heartland in Nnewi.
Godwin Obaje put the hosts in front on ten minutes before captain for the visiting side Julius Ubido got a first half red card. Francis Momoh then equalized for the NNL South league leaders but goals Ikenna Hilary and a stoppage time penalty from Obaje earned the Anambra Warriors a derby victory.
Ngwa FC 1-3 Sunshine Stars
The fairy tale run of the Ebonyi state side was ended by a business-like Sunshine side in Abakaliki.
Goals from Franklin Sasere, Ezekiel Thompson and Ezekiel Boboye put the hosts to the sword and a penalty in stoppage time did little to raise any hopes of a miraculous comeback for the non-league side led by Rev. Fr. Nnaemeka Nwokoro.
UNICEM Rovers 0-1 ABS
Despite their relegation from the top tier of Nigerian football last weekend, Abubakar Bukola Saraki FC continued their pursuit of an unlikely silverware when they downed hosts UNICEM Rovers at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar.
After a cagey opening half, in-form striker Wasiu Alalade sprung a badly set offside trap to give Henry Makinwa’s men the important victory two minutes after the interval.
And the rest…
The remaining NPFL side Niger Tornadoes will have to negotiate a replay after Wilfred Ammeh missed a stoppage time penalty in their 0-0 draw at FC Abuja on Wednesay. Both teams will face again on Saturday in Lokoja.
NNL side Osun United came from behind to beat El-Kanemi Babes 2-1 at the Osogbo Township Stadium. Victor Okeji and Mahmud Akorede scored for the Omoluabi Boys after Ahmadu Abubakar had given El-Kanemi the lead.
Osun’s neighbours Ekiti United will however travel to Katsina for a replay with Katsina United Feeders after their come-from-behind 1-1 draw with at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday.