..As Cup Champs, Bayelsa Utd, Enyimba Bow Out
It was a sweet pay back for Heartland FC against their Oriental rival, Rangers Int’l of Enugu at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin as they pipped them 8-7 on penalty shoot out after the regulation time ended 1-1.
Recall that Rangers got the better of the Maze Millionaires in the league back to back which culminated to their relegation but the Owerri Landlords had a sweet revenge in the cup games round of 32 with well deserved Nonso Nzediegwu equaliser in the second half after The Enugu Antelopes had gone in front through Shedrack Asiegbu in the first stanza.
Heartland will hope to go all the way to win the trophy against all odds in form of redeeming their disappointing display in the league as well as securing a continental ticket.
Meanwhile, cup holders, Bayelsa United and former champions Rangers International have been sent packing from this year’s AITEO Cup competition in the Round of 32.
Two-time CAF Champions League winners Enyimba FC of Aba and CAF Confederation Cup aspirants Remo Stars were also victims as a good number of the 16 matches on Wednesday threw up interesting results.
Champions Bayelsa United and Green Berets ended it 0-0 at the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus but Green Berets went ahead to win 5-4 on penalties.
Enyimba and Niger Tornadoes failed to find the net over 90 minutes in Ijebu-Ode before penalty shoot-out came to the rescue and the Ikon Allah smiled home 6-5 winners, to reach the Round of 16.
In Abuja, Kwara United shot ahead in the first half against Wikki Tourists, who then levelled up and went ahead to win 4-3 on penalties at the FIFA Goal Project.
A marathon penalty shoot-out was needed to separate Nasarawa United and Sokoto United, who ended their tie 1-1 in Kaduna.
The Solid Miners scraped through 11-10 after penalties and will be part of the action in the Round of 16 scheduled for the weekend.
The women’s Round of 16 matches will take place on Thursday evening.
Round Of 32 Results (Men)
Bayelsa United 0-0 Green Beret (4-5 penalties)
Enyimba International 0-0 Niger Tornadoes (5-6 penalties)
Doma United 0-3 Lobi Stars
Akure City Academy 2-1 Bendel Insurance Feeders
Rangers Int’l 1-1 Heartland FC (7-8 penalties)
Sunshine Stars 5-1 Rovers FC
Cynosure FC 1-3 Katsina United
Remo Stars 0-3 Akwa United
Kogi United 2-2 Kanta United (5-4 penalties)
DMD FC 0-0 Housing Corporation (4-2 penalties)
Zamfara United 0-5 Kano Pillars
Fulfill FC 0-1 El-Kanemi Warriors
Kwara United 1-1 Wikki Tourists (3-4 penalties)
Bendel Insurance 1-1 Ottasolo FC (4-3 penalties)
Sokoto United 1-1 Nasarawa United (10-11 penalties)
Round Of 16 Fixtures (Men)
Green Beret Vs Niger Tornadoes
Lobi Stars Vs Akure City Vs Niger Tornadoes
Heartland FC Vs Dakkada FC
Sunshine Stars Vs Katsina United
Akwa United Vs Kogi United
DMD FC Vs Kano Pillars
El-Kanemi Warriors Vs Wikki Tourists
Bendel Insurance Vs Nasarawa United