Aiteo Cup: Nasarawa Utd enter quarter-final round

•My target is to win continental ticket-Okereke

By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor

Nasarawa United have proceeded to the quarter-final of the Aiteo Federation Cup after they edged Bendel Insurance of Benin to a 2-1 win at the Enyimba Stadium, Aba.

Both teams, who have turned likely foes in the Aiteo Cup, had earlier had an encounter at last season’s quarter-final where the Solid Miners defeated the Benin Arsenal 3-1.

On Saturday, Nasarawa United opened the goal chart in 18-minutes of action after King Osanga capitalised on the defensive slip-up by Bendel Insurance to release Sunday Okereke, who seamlessly tapped the ball into the net.

The defensive lapse was caused by the forward thrust of the Benin Arsenal right-back Dede muoghara to support the attack that reversibly led to a counter-attack.

In a quick response, Bendel Insurance who recently won promotion to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) despite having games in hand, tallied the scoreline from gameplay initiated by defender Benjamin Tanimu and was perfected by Adodo Stephens to beat Solid Miners goalie Ameh Godwin.

However, in the second half, Nasarawa United were awarded a penalty for a rough challenge by Odinaka Edeh which according to Bendel Insurance was undeserving. 

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The Solid Miners attacker Sunday Okereke took the chance brilliantly to hand the Middlebelters a lead.

Reacting to the lead, Bendel Insurance boss Monday Odigie made some tactical changes which resulted in fierce attacks against the Solid Miners who were practically caged in their cocoon but efforts to get a goal could only hit the woodwork for the Benin Arsenals.

In a post-match interview, Okereke felt good to have scored a brace at the Enyimba Stadium, adding that his target is to become the highest goalscorer of the tourney and eventually win the title to qualify for the CAF Confederation Cup.

“I feel very good to score on this ground again after scoring in the league,” he said.

“This is because the ground favours me and my team a lot and it looks like I have already mastered this surface.

“My target in this competition is to become the highest goalscorer with the support of my teammates and win the title and get a continental ticket, which is why we always give our best,” Okereke added.

Before the match, Bendel Insurance had complained of the tight fixture which saw them play two matches, the Aiteo Cup round of 16 and the Nigeria National League match against J. Atete in Abakiliki without a day interval.

According to the Benin Arsenals, the match against J. Atete FC was taken to neutral ground in Abakiliki following a disciplinary action meted on the host team for allegedly attacking the referee in their match against Ekiti United.



Green Beret 0 Niger Tornadoes 1

Lobi Stars 1 Akure City 0

Heartland FC 1 Dakkada FC 1 (5-4 penalties)

Sunshine Stars 1 Katsina United 1 (3-5 penalties)

DMD FC 0 Kano Pillars 2

El-Kanemi Warriors 0 Wikki Tourists 0 (4-5 penalties)

Sunday: Akwa United Vs Kogi United – Enugu – 4pm


Niger Tornadoes Vs Lobi Stars

Wikki Tourists Vs Nasarawa United

Katsina United Vs Heartland FC

Kano Pillars Vs Akwa United/Kogi United

Date: Wednesday, 10th August

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