A powerful strike from Jibril Abdulwahab became the deciding factor as Kogi United shocked bookmakers to end former Aiteo Cup Champions, Akwa United sojourn in the oldest football competition in Nigeria.
The game was played on Sunday at the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus stadium.
Newsmen gathered that Kogi United came into the round of 16 after dusting off Mighty Jets of Jos and Kanta United Fc in the rounds of 64 and 32, respectively.
Kogi United raced into the lead after John Jerome took advantage of Haruna Isah’s long throw to put his side ahead.
The second half saw the NPFL side pushing Kogi United back into their half. The referee awarded a penalty to Akwa United after he adjudged the ball to have been handled by Kogi United player, Femi Adewumi in his box. Ubong Friday converted the spot kick to bring his side level.
Both teams continued to put pressure on their defences, with Akwa United coming close on several occasions. Jibril Abdulwahab was given a pass by Nuhu Daniel from the flank, he wasted no time in tapping the ball past Adeyinka to restore Kogi United’s lead.
Kogi United held on to their lead until the game came to an end.
Interim Coach of Kogi United, Chidi Oji attributed his team’s victory to the determination, resilience and doggedness of his boys.
“We thank God almighty for this awesome and wonderful victory. The boys played their hearts out because they knew what’s at stake. Many people have ruled us out but we disappointed them and it’s the Lord’s doing and we thank Him for it. We will play against Kano Pillars just the way we did today and hopefully, we will triumph again,” he said.
With this victory over Akwa United, Kogi United qualified for the quarterfinals of this year’s edition of the Aiteo Cup and will meet Kano Pillars FC on Wednesday 10th August, 2022, at the famous Aper Aku Stadium, Benue State.