*Bendel Insurance, Rivers Utd, Lobi through to next round
Giant-killing Lagos side, Smart City FC, yesterday added Shooting Stars of Ibadan to their list of casualties after eliminating newly crowned NPLF champions Enyimba in the previous round of the 2019 AITEO Cup.
Bendel Insurance also kicked out El-Kanemi Warriors, who have just been relegated from the topflight like them from the topflight.
Lobi Stars go through to challenge for the trophy in place of the NPFL title they just relinquished, just as Rivers United also progress with a 2-0 defeat of Warri Wolves.
Rivers United victory didn’t come cheap either. Two well-taken goals by Ossy Martins and Kehinde Adedipe, either side of half time, gave Rivers United the 2-0 win over Warri Wolves in the round of 16 game yesterday.
United uncharacteristically made a slow start to the game but Wolves failed to make their early territorial advantage count.
The Port Harcourt side was always going to up the ante and when it happened, it was with deadly efficiency.
A Peter Ubakanma free kick caused havoc in the Wolves box in the 14th minute and with the Warri club failing to clear their lines, predatory forward, Martins, lurking dangerously in the box, pounced and prodded home to give Rivers United the lead.
Martins thought he’d doubled United’s lead in the 19th minute when he shot fiercely into the top corner but the effort was correctly chalked off for offside.
United were the superior side in the first half and deservedly took the solitary advantage into the break.
Wolves improved markedly in the second half and just when it looked like they had gained a foothold in the game, they were hit by a sucker punch by United who scored their second in brilliant fashion just after the hour mark.
Adedipe was the man on the money as he waltzed past the Wolves defence before rounding off the spectacular solo effort with a firm strike which the Wolves goalkeeper, Mamudu Belema failed to hold.
The United Technical Manager, Stanley Eguma was pleased with his side’s efforts on the day which eventually delivered a quarter final ticket as he addressed the media afterwards.
“First, I commend my players for winning this game which was not easy at all as Wolves came here (the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa, venue of the game) with the intent of winning,” Eguma told the Rivers United official website, www.riversunitedfc.
2019 AITEO CUP
(Round of 16)
Smart City FC 0-0 3SC
(Smart City 5-4 penalties)
Warri Wolves 0-2 Rivers Utd
Lobi 3-1 Abia Warriors
Insurance 1-1 El-Kanemi
(Insurance 5-4 penalties)