Two Nigerian National League (NNL) sides-Gateway United and Bayelsa United, on Wednesday knocked out Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs-Akwa United and Rangers, out of the 2021 Aiteo Cup.
The Ogun State-based Gateway United earned a 1- 0 win over NPFL log leaders Akwa United in the second round of the 2021 Aiteo Cup at the FIFA Goal Project, Games Village, Abuja.
Julius Ikechukwu got the goal for the NNL side in the 43rd minute, and that was enough for Gateway to advance to the round of 16.
Bayelsa also picked up a major scalp as they beat NPFL giants and six-time Aiteo Cup champions, Rangers, 1-0 at the Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu Ode.
Beniangba Victory’s goal in the 20th minute was enough to send the Flying Antelopes out of Aiteo Cup.
Christian Nnaji and Elijah Ani of Rangers did all they could to level the game but John Shaibu proved too stubborn between the sticks.
Bayelsa could have increased the lead in the 39th minute but Ernest Governor cleared the line with goalkeeper Nana Bonsu out of position. Bonsu made saves in the 50th and 60th minutes that kept Rangers in the game.
The Salisu Yusuf-managed side searched for a late equaliser and the coach introduced Godspower Aniefiok, Femi Ajayi, Daniel Vendaga, and Shedrack Asiegbu but none of the substitutes could find the goal they needed.
Afterward, Yusuf said that not taking their chances cost them the game.
“We gave away too many chances in the game. We could have even scored three or four goals and we were organised at the back but that little slip gave them the opportunity to grab what turned out to be the winning goal. We wish them well as we now have to concentrate on the league,” Yusuf said.
In other results, defending champions Kano Pillars thrashed Lagos-based side, Smart City 4-2 while Rivers United beat Sokoto United.
2021 AITEO Cup Results
Smart City 2-4 Kano Pillars
Gateway United 1-0 Akwa United
Katsina United 0-0 El-Kanemi Warriors (5-3 on penalties)
Mai Unguwa 0-2 Niger Tornadoes
Sunshine Stars 1-1 Kogi United (6-5 on penalties)
Abia Warriors 5-0 Zamfara United
Yobe Desert 0-1 Lobi Stars
Ekiti United 0-0 Heartland FC (4-5 on penalties)
Rivers United 2-1 Sokoto United
Rangers Int’l 0-1 Bayelsa United
Minna Center: Kwara United v Kebbi United
Gombe Center: Jigawa GS v Plateau United
Lokoja Center: Wikki Tourists v Osun United
Makurdi Center: Gombe United v 3SC
Enugu Center: Bendel Insurance v Nasarawa United
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