Fans of Bayelsa United have expressed optimism that the team can lift this year’s edition of the Aiteo Cup, giving their fine run of play since the start of the competition.
United on Wednesday, July 14, sent Lobi Stars of Makurdi, packing after a 2-0 defeat at the newly refurbished Dan Anyiam Studium Owerri, Imo State.
Two goals from Emo James and Okardi Inikurogha in each half of the encounter was all they needed to eliminate the Premier League Benue side from the competition and set up a quarter-final date against Gateway United, who overcame Wikki Tourists of Bauchi 4-3 on penalties, in Enugu.
Some fans of the Coach Diepreye Teibowei side said the team has been focused and very consistent in their resolve to win every game which is a proof of the hunger in the players to reach the final and bring back home the coveted trophy.
A fan of the team, Gabriel Abili said after securing victory against six time Aiteo cup champions, Enugu Rangers in the round of sixteen, he became convinced that Bayelsa United are determined to win the cup.
“That game was what I was scared about because Enugu Rangers are not an easy side to win, so when Bayelsa United defeated them, I knew that United can go for gold”, he said.
Another fan, Anthony Ilo said the consistency of the players of Bayelsa United is what is thrilling him and he believes that if they can sustain it, they will find themselves in the final.
According to him: “Bayelsa United defeated Nigerian Air Force in the preliminary round and Enugu Rangers in the round of sixteen and just on Wednesday eliminated Lobi Stars. These are not just small teams. So, they have been consistent and that is what is good for a competition like the Aiteo Cup”.
Chairman of the club, Mr. Ebiki Timitimi believes that it is not impossible for the Yenagoa-based side to win the cup, and thanked Governor Douye Diri for his massive support for the team.
Meanwhile Heartland of Owerri lost 1-3 to four times FA Cup champions, Rivers United and will now trade tackles with Niger Tornadoes, who pipped Abia Warriors 3-2 in the quarter-final.
Kano Pillars and Sunshine Stars will square up in the last eight just as Nasarawa United who thrashed Plateau United 3-1 in the North Central derby played in Lokoja, will lock horns against Gombe United.