The Punch

Aiteo Cup: giant killers eye more upsets

- Kelvin Ekerete

GIANT killers Gateway FC, Green Berets and Bayelsa United, all Nigeria National League sides, will be hoping to continue their fairytale run in the 2021 Aiteo Cup when they file out for their round of 16 games on Wednesday (today).

The matches will be played across eight venues – Enugu, minna, Abuja, Kaduna, makurdi, Lokoja, Aba and Owerri.

Gateway, who sent Nigeria Profession­al Football League leaders Akwa United packing from the competitio­n, will square up against another NPFL side Wikki Tourists in Enugu.

Gateway FC coach Hakeem Busari says he is confident his team will create another upset.

“It is going to be an interestin­g match but I am confident we are going to get a win and qualify to the quarter-finals. Wikki are struggling in the league but for them to be in this round, they have beaten other teams, so we have to be careful. But we’ve done a good job in preparatio­n and we are gunning for another upset,” Busari told The PUNCH.

Bayelsa United, victors over Enugu Rangers, play Lobi Stars in Owerri, while Green Berets, who eliminated Warri Wolves in the round of 32 on penalties, have a mountain to climb when they play Sunshine Stars in Abuja. The Owena Whales are back in form after recording three straight wins in as many games in the topflight.

In other fixtures, Heartland battle resurgent Rivers United in Aba, while Plateau United entertain Nasarawa United in Lokoja.

Champions Kano Pillars, who recorded a 4-2 win over Lagosbased Smart City, play Kebbi United in minna for a spot in the quarter-finals.

The Ahmadu Bello Stadium Stadium in Kaduna will play host to Katsina United versus Gombe United, as Abia Warriors slug it out with Niger Tornadoes in makurdi.

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