Kano State Government has commended Kano Pillars Football Club for reaching the quarter finals of the ongoing Aiteo Federation Cup.The state’s Acting Governor, Nasiru Yusuf-Gawuna, made the commendation in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Hassan Musa-Fagge, on Sunday in Kano.He said that the 2-0 victory of pillars over the DMD FC of Maiduguri in the round 16 of the Aiteo Federation Cup played at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, on Saturday was commendable and well deserved.
Yusuf-Gawuna said the victory was a testimony of the team and its management’s commitment, tactical approach, focus, determination and hard work.
“The state government under the leadership of Gov Abdullahi Ganduje and the people of Kano are proud of you for bringing joy, happiness and something to cheer and cherish.
“As you prepare for your next match on Wednesday, we want you to win the remaining matches and repeat the same feat you achieved three years ago by winning the prestigious cup for Kano State.
“We also salute the fans and people of state for their continued support and prayers to the team.
“I wish to also assure the state government’s continued support to the Kano Pillars Football Club and commitment to investment in sports development,” he said.
Wednesday’s round of 32 matches in the 2022 Aiteo Federation Cup competition really lived up to the contest’s biggest feature of surprise element, where underdogs give no respect to big names.
The competition’s round of 64 a week earlier, where the big names make their entry, looked to be too easy for the top-flight sides from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The likes of Shooting Stars FC, who never got to the national stage, and new NPFL champions Rivers United who withdrew last week were spared the ignominy of being eliminated by underdogs though.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Wednesday’s games did the expected though, with Cup-holders Bayelsa United and former champions Rangers International being sent packing.
Two-time CAF Champions League winners Enyimba International and 20222023 CAF Confederation Cup aspirants Remo Stars were also victims after the matches threw up interesting results.
Bayelsa United, even though not in the top-flight but a big name in Nigerian football, fell to fellow Nigeria National League (NNL) side Green Berets.
Rangers International were eliminated by former fellow NPFL side Heartland FC, just like Kwara United and Remo Stars who fell to other top-flight sides.
But Nasarawa United, former continental competition campaigners, did not have it easy qualifying against Sokoto United.
They had to go through the “shooting range”, the stage where penalty kick shootouts go to the sudden death level.
Former Cup champions Bendel Insurance also had to endure a penalty kicks shootout against Ottasolo FC in order to go through.
Now, the round of 16 is expected to produce more of the surprises even though the number of underdogs still in the competition has thinned out.
Green Berets FC, Akure City Academy, Kogi United and DMD FC have top-flight opponents to contend with, but their opponents will still be wary of them.
They only need to look back at what happened in the round of 32 to keep looking over their shoulders.
The other four fixtures look well-balanced, with past meetings and association through the NPFL helping to form long-standing rivalry.
But noteworthy is the fact that eight of the 16 fixtures in the round of 32 were decided with penalty kick shootouts.
It is a pointer to what is likely to happen in this round of 16. Below are the results from the Round of 32, as well as the Round of 16 fixtures: ResultsBayelsa United 0 Green Berets 0 (4-5 penalty kicks) Enyimba International 0 Niger Tornadoes 0 (5-6 penalty kicks) Doma United 0 Lobi Stars 3 Akure City Academy 2 Bendel Insurance Feeders 1 Rangers International 1 Heartland FC 1 (7-8 penalty kicks) Sunshine Stars 5 Rovers FC 1 Cynosure FC 1 Katsina United 3 Remo Stars 0 Akwa United 3 Kogi United 2 Kanta United 2 (5-4 penalty kicks) DMD FC 0 Housing Corporation 0 (4-2 penalty kicks) Zamfara United 0 Kano Pillars 5 Fulfill FC 0 El-Kanemi Warriors 1 Kwara United 1 Wikki Tourists 1 (3-4 penalty kicks) Bendel Insurance 1 Ottasolo FC 1 (4-3 penalty kicks) Sokoto United 1 Nasarawa United 1 (10-11 penalty kicks) Fixtures Green Berets vs Niger Tornadoes Lobi Stars vs Akure City Academy Heartland FC vs Dakkada FC Sunshine Stars vs Katsina United Akwa United vs Kogi United DMD FC vs Kano Pillars El-Kanemi Warriors vs Wikki Tourists Bendel Insurance vs Nasarawa UnitedOLAL
The following are the results of the Round of 32 men’s results played on Wednesday in 16 match venues across the country.
Aiteo Federation Cup 2022: Round of 32 Results (Men) Bayelsa United 0, Green Beret 0 (4-5 penalties) Enyimba International 0, Niger Tornadoes 0 (5-6 penalties) Doma United 0, Lobi Stars 3 Akure City Academy 2, Bendel Insurance Feeders 1 Rangers Int’l 1, Heartland FC 1 (7-8 penalties) Sunshine Stars 5, Rovers FC 1 Cynosure FC 1, Katsina United 3 Remo Stars 0 Akwa United 3 Kogi United 2, Kanta United (5-4 penalties) DMD FC 0 Housing Corporation 0 (4-2 penalties) Zamfara United 0, Kano Pillars 5 Fulfill FC 0, El-Kanemi Warriors 1 Kwara United 1, Wikki Tourists 1 (3-4 penalties) Bendel Insurance 1, Ottasolo FC 1 (4-3 penalties) Sokoto United 1, Nasarawa United 1 (10-11 penalties).
An oriental derby is on the cards in the 2022 Aiteo Federation Cup as Rangers square up against Heartland in one of the competition’s Round of 32 Men’s fixtures.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Rangers International FC, Enugu versus Heartland FC, Owerri game will hold on Aug. 3 at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
Kickoff is 4.00 p.
Rangers have the bragging over their rival going into the derby clash, after handing Heartland a back-to-back defeat at the just-concluded Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The Flying Antelopes are looking for redemption after their push for a continental ticket in the NPFL failed to see the light of the day.
They will therefore take this game as a make-or-break affair, as they intend to end their campaign with a trophy in their cabinet.
NAN also reports that Rangers last won the oldest club competition in the country in 2018. In another round of 32 fixtures, two NPFL giants are set to clash as Niger Tornadoes brace up against Enyimba International of Aba in Ijebu Ode. The Ikon Allah Boys do battle against the Elephants, the most successful team in the NPFL in what promises to be a cracking game.
However, on recent form, Niger Tornadoes will feel they can nick this one after holding Enyimba to a 1-1 draw in Aba, before edging the reverse fixture at home 2-1 in the 20212022 NPFL season.
ROUND OF 32 FIXTURES (MEN) Bayelsa United Vs Green Beret– Enugu – (030822) – 2 00 p.
m. Enyimba International Vs Niger Tornadoes– Ijebu-Ode – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Doma United Vs Lobi Stars– Jos – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Akure City Academy Vs Bendel Insurance Feeders– Nnewi – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Rangers Int’l Vs Heartland FC– Benin City – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Sunshine Stars Vs Rovers FC– Aba – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Cynosure FC Vs Katsina United– Makurdi – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Remo Stars Vs Akwa United– Enugu – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Kogi United Vs Kanta United– Minna – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. DMD FC Vs Housing Corporation – Abuja – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Zamfara United Vs Kano Pillars – Kaduna – (030822) – 2.00 p.
m. Fulfill FC Vs El-Kanemi Warriors– Gombe – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Kwara United Vs Wikki Tourists– Abuja – (030822) – 4pm Bendel Insurance Vs Ottasolo FC– Ilorin – (030822) – 4.00 p.
m. Sokoto United Vs Nasarawa United– Kaduna – (030822) – 4.00 p.
Dakkada FC already qualified for Round of 16 ROUND OF 16 FIXTURES (WOMEN) Bayelsa Queens Vs Niger Amazons – 040822 – 4.00 p.
m. (Venue TBD) Abruka Queens Vs Abia Angels – Benin City – 040822 – 4 00 p.
m. Naija Ratels Vs Nasarawa Amazons – Jos – 040822 – 4.00 p.
m. Immaculate Queens Vs Confluence Queens – Makurdi – 040822 – 4.00 p.
m. Honey Badgers Vs Delta Queens – Owerri – 040822 – 4.00 p.
m. Heartland Queens Vs Dannaz Ladies – Warri – 040822 – 4.00 p.
m. Osun Babes Vs Royal Queens – Abuja – 040822 – 4.00 p.
m. Edo Queens Vs Awka Robo Queens – 040822 – 4.00 p.
m. (Venue TBD).
The battle for a national title and a 20222023 CAF Confederation Cup ticket heightens this weekend as competition in the 2022 Aiteo Federation Cup enters the round of 64.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the annual national football competition began on Tuesday with the preliminary round fixtures.
The qualifiers have now advanced to the round of 64 to face some of the seeded teams, which include several former national FA Cup and Federation Cup winners.
Those in this category include the likes of Enyimba International of Aba, Niger Tornadoes of Minna, Lobi Stars of Makurdi, Rangers International of Enugu and Heartland FC of Owerri.
Others are El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri, Wikki Tourists of Bauchi, Bendel Insurance FC of Benin and Nasarawa United of Lafia.
They are also clubsides whose campaign in the 20212022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) failed to yield either the title or a ticket to play on the continent next season.
Now, they have to contend with the likes of Gombe United, Sunshine Stars of Akure, Katsina United, Akwa United of Uyo, Kwara United of Ilorin and Abia Warriors of Umuahia.
They will all jostle for the remaining continental club competition ticket, with the contest becoming stiffer with the surprise element brought into it by the so-called underdogs.
Just like last year when Nigeria National League (NNL) side Bayelsa United of Yenagoa won the competition, the lower league sides are like a red light to the top-flight sides.
This time around, 26 NNL sides, as well as 15 Nationwide League One (NLO) and 15 non-league clubs, began the contest with 17 NPFL sides.
Nine of them dropped out in the preliminary round, leaving behind 64 for the first round to be played on Saturday, Sunday and Monday across the country.
With the likes of NPFL champions Rivers United of Port Harcourt, Jos-based Plateau United and Ikenne-based Remo Stars, who already have continental competition tickets, still being involved, a hell-of-a-fight looms.
From the fixtures, the biggest of the battles should be in Owerri and Ikenne, going by the status of the teams involved.
However, with the surprise element usually associated with every Cup competition, anything can happen.
In the women’s competition, defending champions Bayelsa Queens of Yenagoa will still remain the favourites to claim the title going by their new status.
They won the 20212022 Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Premiership, and still look good enough to maintain their dominance.
But Rivers Angels of Port Harcourt will be looking to emulate their state-owned counterparts Rivers United who have now been reaping several benefits for winning a national title.
Nasarawa Amazons of Lafia, Delta Queens of Asaba and Edo Queens of Benin are also seeking national relevance and the Cup competition can offer them a route to that.
NAN reports that while the men’s competition will see qualifiers advancing to the Round of 32, the women’s competition offers passage into the Round of 16.
THE FIXTURESRound of 64 (Men) —– Bayelsa United vs Osevan FC – Aba (Saturday – 4 p.
m) EFCC FC vs Green Beret FC – Minna (Saturday – 2 p.
m) Enyimba International vs Ijebu United – Benin (Saturday – 2 p.
m) Dreams FC vs Niger Tornadoes – Enugu (Saturday – 2 p.
m) Apex Crane FC vs Doma United – Old Parade Ground, Abuja (Saturday – 2 p.
m) ABS FC vs Lobi Stars – Kaduna (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Nnewi United vs Akure City Academy – Warri (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Insurance Feeders vs Dannaz FC – Ilorin (Saturday – 2 p.
m) Rangers International vs ABJ FC – FIFA Goal Project, Abuja (Sunday – 4 p.
m) JM Liberty vs Heartland FC – Calabar (Saturday – 4 p.
m) FRSC FC vs Adoration FC – Ilorin (Saturday – 2 p.
m) Rivers United vs Dakkada FC – Owerri (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Sunshine Stars vs Osun United – Ikenne (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Rovers FC vs Gombe United – Makurdi (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Mailantarki FC vs Cynosure FC – Makurdi (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Saki United vs Katsina United – Minna (Sunday – 2 p.
m) Remo Stars vs ?
– Asaba (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Essien Ayi FC vs Akwa United – Aba (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Mighty Jets vs Kogi United – FIFA Goal Project, Abuja (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Kanta United vs Kebbi United – Sokoto (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Plateau United vs DMD FC – Gombe (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Housing Corporation vs Jigawa Golden Stars – Minna (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Zamfara United vs Gamji Eaglets – Jos (Saturday – 2 p.
m) Kano Pillars vs Junior Niger Tornadoes – Kaduna (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Fulfill FC vs Olukismet FC — Makurdi (Saturday – 2 p.
m) El-Kanemi Warriors vs Kun Khalifat – Old Parade Ground, Abuja (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Yobe Desert Stars vs Kwara United – Ranch Bees Stadium, Kaduna (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Wikki Tourists vs Junior Pillars – Damaturu (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Bendel Insurance vs Junior Katsina United – FIFA Goal Project, Abuja (Saturday – 2 p.
m) Ottasolo FC vs Abia Warriors – Warri (Sunday – 2 p.
m) Ekiti United vs Sokoto United – Minna (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Eaglets FC vs Nasarawa United – ABS, Kaduna (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Round of 32 (Women) —– Bayelsa Queens vs ?
(Sunday – 2 p.
m) Brave Heart Ladies vs Niger Amazons – Lokoja (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Abruka Queens vs Paragon Soccer Academy – Benin City (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Abia Angels vs Ekiti Queens – Asaba (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Naija Ratels vs Rivers Angels – Enugu (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Imo Angels vs Nasarawa Amazons – Ilorin (Sunday – 2 p.
m) Immaculate Queens vs Maureen Madu FC – Benin City (Sunday – 2 p.
m) Salem City FC vs Confluence Queens – Ilorin (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Gallant Queens vs Honey Badgers FC – Area 3, Abuja (Sunday – 2 p.
m) Castmog FC vs Delta Queens – Ilorin (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Sunshine Queens vs Heartland Queens – Warri (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Crystal Stars vs Dannaz Ladies – Enugu (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Moje Queens vs Osun Babes – Ekiti (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Joy FC vs Royal Queens FC – Owerri (Sunday – 2 p.
m) Ibom Angels vs Edo Queens – Owerri (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Awka Angels vs FC Robo Queens – Warri (Monday – 4 p.