Across the 36 states of the Federation, the race began to dethrone Enugu Rangers as the Champions of the Nigeria FA Cup, formerly known as Federation Cup and now sponsored by Aiteo. The competition saw over hundred of teams from the NPFL sides to the Non-leagues sides jostle for the top two places in each state which will see them qualify for the National finals.
Up for grabs is the financial gains of the knock out phase 25 Million Naira for the winner and 10 Million Naira for second place as well as the chance to represent Nigeria on the continent for the winners, this provides a rare chance for clubs in the lower leagues to get a shot at the sole Continental ticket up for grabs while it’s a sort of second chance for clubs in the NPFL who are way off the top three places on the standings, if they can go ahead to win it.
Defending Champions of the competition, Enugu Rangers who won the 2018 edition after coming from 3 goals down to beat Kano Pillars on penalties in the final have had a tremendous season so far and as such blazed their way through to the finals of the Enugu state Fa cup beating Star Plus Fc by a 4-1 scoreline at the Cathedral on Sunday.
Runners up Kano Pillars at the Kano state FA Cup made an easy work of their feeders team Kano Pillars Juniors with a 4-1 victory. There were routine wins for Sunshine Stars, El Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri, Akwa United, Rivers United and Plateau United as they defeated Akure City FC (3-1), Qutar Waters (4-0), Confine City (1-0), PH City (1-0), and Mighty Jet (4-1 on penalties) respectively.
In other results, Unicem Rovers of Calabar, Ekiti United, Sokoto United, Bayelsa United, Cynosure of Ebonyi, 3SC of Ibadan all recorded victories against Ayade FC (1-0), JKF (1-0), Fashir Academy (2-0), Abaye FC (1-0), Ebonyi United (2-0) and Crown FC (1-0) respectively while FCT’s EFCC beat Setraco 1-0, Jigawa Golden Stars also beat Sulaiman Sara Boys 4-0
Aklosendi lost to Nasarawa United (3-4 on Penalties) while in Yobe Desert Stars beat Yobe Desert Stars Feeders 2-1, in Kogi state FC Lokoja lost to Kogi United (8-9 on penalties), in Benin FC De-Leo bowed to Bendel Insurance on Penalties while Ambassadors are Kaduna state champions with a 2-1 win over Green Beret as Wikki Tourists showed supremacy over Zabgai in Bauchi. Meanwhile, Gombe United and Doma FC results are yet to be confirmed
The biggest shock came from Lagos where NPFL contenders, MFM FC were beaten to the trophy by Box to Box with a 2-1 victory, in Imo Amanda FC defeated Heartland Comets while in Anambra Aspire Academy beat Ifeanyi Ubah feeders on penalties. Almar FC also overcame Gateway United on penalties in Ogun State while Niger Tornadoes were humbled by Niger Tornadoes feeders on penalties even with ten men.
In Kwara state’s battle of supremacy, Kwara United beat ABS on penalties while in Zamfara Wali Professionals and Tsafe Eaglets ended in a 1-1 draw with the former winning 6-5 on penalties.