Daily Trust

Pillars outsmart Smart City 4-2 to start Aiteo Cup defence

- By David Ngobua

Aiteo Cup holders, Kano Pillars have started their title defence on a sparkling note as they trounced Smart City FC of Lagos 4-2 in the round of 32 match played yesterday at the Confluence stadium Lokoja.

The rookies went behind as early as the 20th minute when David Ebuka put Pillars in front from Fahad Usman’s well measured corner kick.

The Lagos ‘smart kids’ who ousted giants, Enyimba FC and 3SC of Ibadan from the 2019 Aiteo Cup pushed for equaliser against Pillars but they fell further behind as Yinka Joseph scored the second for the ‘masu gida’ boys in the 45th minute.

On resumption of the second half, Yinka Joseph the goalscorer turned provider as he assisted Okon Aniemeke to score the third goal for Pillars in the 52nd minute.

Undaunted, Smart City fought back to reduce the deficit when they scored in the 62nd and 73rd minute but Pillars have other ideas as they brought on burly striker, Nyima Nwagua who put the match beyond their opponents with his goal in the 90th minute for the match to end 4-2.

In other round of 32 matches played yesterday, NNL side, Gateway FC ousted 2018 champions, Akwa United 1-0, Katsina United eliminated EL-kanemi Warriors 5-3 on penalties after 0-0 in regulation time, 2019 finalists, Niger

Tornadoes sent MaiUnguwa packing 2-0, while Sunshine Stars piped Kogi United 6-5 on penalties.

Elsewhere, Abia Warriors spanked Zamfara United 5-0, Yobe Stars fell 0-1 to Lobi Stars, Heartland ended Ekiti United’s ambition 4-5 on penalties, Rivers United overpowere­d Sokoto United 2-1, Rangers squeezed past Bayelsa United 1-0 just as Green Berets arrested Wolves 5-4 on penalties.

All round 32 winners have moved to the round of 16.

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