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2018/2019 State AITEO Cup Finals: Few upsets as regulars maintain dominance

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Finals

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some states concluded their AITEO Cup finals yesterday while states like Lagos and Osun will conclude theirs later in the week.

However, reports from across the state finals showed that many of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) teams were able to scale through to the national campaign leaving few unexpected results.

Tornadoes, in the highly soaked tension match played at the Bako Kontagora Stadium against all odds lost to its 10-men feeder team 1-3 via penalties.

Tornadoes Feeders were reduced to 10 men when Abdulmalik Abubakar mistakenly handle the ball on the edge of the box.

With penalties to decide the winner, Reuben Adams of Feeders team lost his penalty, while Ammar Abdulkarim and Ahmadu Liman also lost their penalties to give the Fedeers team the edge.

At MKO Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta, Nigeria National League (NNL) side Gateway FC was defeated 2-3 via penalties by Nationwide League (NLO) side, Almaar FC of Ijebu Ode after a 0-0 stalemate at regulation time.

In Anambra comes another surprise as Aspire Academy overpowered FC Ifeanyi Ubah Feeder team 4-3 after the regulation time ended 1-1.

In Lagos came a bombshell as four time winners of the state AITEO Cup, MFM FC were sent out of the competition in the quarter-final stage by little known Box to Box FC 2-1

The last year’s AITEO Cup runners-up, Kano Pillars had an easy ride over its Feeder team, Kano Pillars Junior, as the later was thumped 4-1 in a final played at the Sani Abacha Stadium.

Goals from Alasin Ibrahim, Mustapha Salisu, Yusuf Mai Garo and Ibuka David 45th, 71th 75th and 90th minutes respectively gave the Masu Gida the needed victory while Ibrahim Yinusa got Junior team the consolatory goal.

In Ibadan, four times FA Cup winners, 1971, 1977, 1979 and 1995, Shooting Stars FC (3SC) sustains its bragging right over Crown FC of Ogbomosho as it recorded a slim victory over the Ajilete Warriors.

The Oluyole Warriors got the only goal of the final through 25th minute strike from Ayobami Junior.

In Ondo State, Sunshine Stars defeated Akure City 3-1, while in Cross Rivers; Unicem Rovers FC had a narrow 1-0 win over Ayade United.

Plateau United of Jos maintained the lead in rivalry over its perennial foes, Mighty Jets with a 4-1 thumping of the later.

In Enugu State, arguably the most successful team in the history of FA Cup; six times winners and defending champions Rangers International FC, whitewashed Star Plus FC 4-1 at the Cathedral.

Rangers International FC coached by veteran and NFF Coach of the Year recipient Gbenga Ogunbote, have won the competition in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, 1983 and 2018.

The Flying Antelope recorded a stunning greatest comeback of the tournament last year at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, when they overcame a 3-1deficit from 77th minute to beat Kano Pillars 4-3 via penalties.

In Borno, El-kanemi Warriors thumped Qutar Waters 4-0 to emerge champions, while in Nasarawa State, Aklosendi United FC lost 3-4 to Nasarawa United FC to become champions.

Kogi United in a Saturday match reclaimed the state FA Cup trophy after beating their city rivals, FC Lokoja in dramatic shootouts.

The final played at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja, witnessed by a sizeable crowd ended 1-1 at regulation time as both sides rekindled their age long rivalry.

In Akure, Sunshine Stars FC are champions as they got the better of Akure City 3-1; while Timber Loaded FC defeated Aitel FC 2-0 to emerge champions of the Taraba State AITEO Cup.

The Sokoto State AITEO Cup final saw Sokoto United have a comfortable 2-0 win over Fashir Academy and in Bayelsa, Bayelsa United had a narrow 1-0 win over Abaye FC.

Amanda FC created and upset in the Imo final as they defeated Heartland Comet FC to become champions, while Cynosure FC also edged past Ebonyi United 1-0 to be crowned winners in Ebonyi State.

The Kaduna State centre produced unusual winners as outsiders, Ambassadors FC defeated Green Beret 2-1, while in FCT, EFCC FC had a slim 1-0 victory over Setraco FC.

In Edo, at the University of Benin Sports Ground, Bendel Insurance pipped FC De Leo 5-4 on penalties.

The Ekiti State final match played at Kayode Fayemi Stadium saw Ekiti United FC record a slim 1-0 victory over JKF FC, courtesy of the goal from Afisu Jelli.

Elsewhere, in Rivers, Malachi Ohawumes 12th solitary minute strike gave Rivers United a slim conquest over PPH City FC.