The Punch

NNL teams send NPFL big boys packing

- Kelvin Ekerete Twitter.

IGERIA National League sides Bayelsa United, Gombe United, Niger Tornadoes and Gateway United continued their impressive run in the round of 16 of the 2021 Aiteo Cup with victories over Nigeria profession­al Football League sides on Wednesday, The PUNCH reports.

Bayelsa, who sent favourites enugu Rangers packing in the previous round, pulled off the biggest upset in the round with a comfortabl­e 2-0 win over Lobi Stars at the Owerri centre, while Niger Tornadoes held their nerves in the closing minutes to book a quarter-final spot at the expense of Abia Warriors, winning 3-2 in Makurdi.

Gateway beat 10-man Wikki Tourists 4-3 on penalties after regulation time ended goalless in enugu, while Gombe United dumped Katsina United out of the competitio­n 5-4 on penalties after 90 minutes of action had ended 1-1.

Green Berets, who beat struggling NPFL side Warri Wolves July 7, could not repeat the heroics against Sunshine Stars, losing 5-4 on penalties after regulation time ended goalless. Kebbi United held Kano pillars 0-0 but lost through the lottery of penalties 3-2 to their more illustriou­s opponents. In a clash of NPFL teams, Nasarawa United humbled plateau United 3-1 at the Lokoja venue while Rivers United beat Heartland 2-1 in Aba.

Gateway United entertain fellow NNL side Bayelsa United in the quarter-finals, while Kano pillars slug it out with Sunshine Stars. Rivers United will hope to book a semi-final ticket against Niger Tornadoes as in-form Nasarawa United try to avoid an upset against Gombe United.

In the women’s category, FC Robo booked their place in the semi-finals of the competitio­n, beating Nasarawa Amazons 3-2 on penalties after full-time ended 1-1. edo Queens scaled to the next round after beating Osun Babes 4-3 on penalties after regulation time ended 1-1.

Bayelsa Queens were 2-0 winners over Delta Queens while the postponed fixture between Bright Future and Rivers Angels is scheduled to hold on Friday.

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