Plateau Utd on course for first double

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Photo: LMC Media
Source: LMC Media

Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions Plateau United have kept alive their hope of a first double following their 2-1 win against Akwa Starlets in a round of 16 game in the Aiteo Cup on Wednesday.

Plateau United head coach Kennedy Boboye made changes to the side that started in their 2-0 win over Rangers in the league by including second-choice goalkeeper John Gaadi, Oghene Elijah, Lazarus Fan and Emmanuel Odafe from the start.

Second tier outfit Akwa Starlets did enough to fend off their illustrious opponents. Both teams fired blanks in the first period of the contest at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.

Nine minutes into the restart, Jimmy Ambrose fired Plateau United in front with a low shot leaving Akwa Starlets goalkeeper Idongesit Peter with no chance.

The Nigerian champions made the game safe with eight minutes to time through Hamzat Owolabi’s goal to extend their lead to two-nil before Aniekeme Asuquo scored what turned out mere consolation for Akwa Starlets. Plateau United progressed to the last eight of the Cup competition.

Former Cup winners Akwa United trounced 3SC 5-1 at the same venue with Amaechi Orji scoring a hat-trick and Hassan Babangida and Christian Pyagbara getting among the goals. Abu Azeez had temporarily levelled the score for 3SC in the first half before Akwa United went rampant on the day.

The defeat adds to 3SC’s worries as they await the outcome on the abandoned game between Gombe United and Wikki Tourists to know their fate as a topflight team.

Another top division side Sunshine Stars reached the quarterfinals after defeating Ngwa FC 3-1. Ezekiel Thompson scored two late goals after Franklin Sasere had given the Akure Gunners a goal lead into the break. Ngwa FC’s goal just two minutes before full time proved too little, too late.

Cup holders FC Ifeanyiubah progressed into the last eight on the back of a 3-1 defeat of former winners Heartland. Godwin Obaje scored twice and midfielder Ikenna Hillary netted his first in all competition for the Anambra Warriors after Francis Momoh had earlier equalized for Heartland.

Wasiu Alalade continued his good scoring form for relegated ABS FC as they edged Unicem Rovers 1-0 to reach the last eight.

Osun United are the only lower division side in the last eight. They defeated El-Kanemi Babes 2-1. Victor Okeji and Mamud Akorede scored for the Osun club to complete their comeback after Ahmadu Abubakar gave El-Kanemi Babes the lead.

Two games – FC Abuja versus Niger Tornadoes and Katsina United versus Ekiti United will now be replayed this Saturday after they finished in draws.

In the women’s Aiteo Cup competition, Nasarawa Amazons and Rivers Angels produced big wins against Beautiful Tours and Ben Women FC respectively. Nasarawa Amazons smashed Tours 10-0 while Rivers Angels thrashed Ben Women 9-0.

Sure Babes and Edo Queens also progressed to the next round with wins over Confluence Queens and Bayelsa Queens Feeders respectively.

Four games in the women’s Cup competition will be replayed on Saturday.

AITEO Cup Round of 16 results

WOMEN
Pelican Stars 1-1 FC Robo Queens
Confluence Queens 3-0 Sure Babes
Bayelsa Queens Feeders 1-3 Edo Queens
Rivers Angels 9-0 Ben Women FC
Sunshine Queens 0-0 Bayelsa Queens
Beautiful Tours 0-10 Nasarawa Amazons
Jokodolu Babes 0-0 Abia Angels
Osun Babes 1-1 Ibom Angels

MATCHES TO BE REPLAYED (SATURDAY, 16 SEPTEMBER)
FC Robo Queens vs Pelican Stars – Legacy Pitch, Lagos
Bayelsa Queens vs Sunshine Queens – Nembe Stadium
Abia Angels vs Jokodolu Babes – Umuahia Township Stadium
Ibom Angels vs Osun Babes – Uyo Township Stadium

MEN
FC Abuja 0-0 Niger Tornadoes
Akwa Starlets 1-2 Plateau United
Ngwa FC 1-3 Sunshine Stars
Osun United 2-1 El-Kanemi Babes
Unicem Rovers 0-1 ABS FC
Akwa United 5-1 Shooting Stars
Ekiti United 1-1 Katsina United Feeders
FC Ifeanyiubah 3-1 Heartland FC

MATCHES TO BE REPLAYED (SATURDAY, 16 SEPTEMBER)
Niger Tornadoes vs FC Abuja – Confluence Stadium, Lokoja
Katsina United Feeders vs Ekiti United – Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina

© The Predictor

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