Bayelsa United Football Club, Yenagoa, on Friday, July 23, progressed to the semi-final of the on-going Aiteo Cup after a pulsating encounter with Gateway United that ended 5-4 on penalties.
The first half of the game, which took place at the Ilorin Township Stadium in Kwara State, did not produce any goal while the second half ended in a goal apiece.
After 90 minutes of play with the game going into extra time, the scores remained the same which made the center refree to call for penalty to decide the winner.
It was the third meeting between both sides in all competitions this season as Bayelsa United won the first game 2-0 in Yenogoa on Wednesday March 24, while Gateway United avenged the loss with the same scoreline on Sunday May 23, 2021 in match day 13 of the 2020/2021 NNL season.
In the other game played on Friday, Sunshine Stars of Akure eliminated defending champions, Kano Pillars at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja in Kogi State, by a lone goal which was scored in the second half by Yusuf Sadeeq through a well-taken solo strike.
Kano Pillars Rabiu Ali came close to scoring in the added minutes of the first half but he failed to dribble his opponent in a long cross which made the center referee signalled end of procedings after exhausting the two minutes added time.
Pillars, in the 67th minute made three back to back substitutions, all to no avail, as Sunshine kept mounting pressure to double their lead.
Speaking shortly after the game, Coach Deji Ayemi of Sunshine Stars praised his team for sending the defending champions packing, expressing optimism that his side will conquer any team coming their way in the semi final.
On his part, Technical Adviser of Kano Pillars, Ibrahim Musa, refused to speak to the press, saying, “I am annoyed and I don’t want to talk to anybody”.
Also on Friday, Nasarawa United beat Gombe 1-0 to proceed to the semi-final of the competition.