Niger Tornadoes Battle Lobi Stars In Aiteo Cup Quarter-final Derby Clash

Niger Tornadoes Battle Lobi Stars In Aiteo Cup Quarter-final Derby Clash

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By Alhassan Kutigi

A local derby is up in the quarter-final of the 2022 Aiteo/FA Cup as two Nigeria Professional Football League NPFL sides Niger Tornadoes trade tackle in North-Central derby

The Ikon Allah Boys are set to take on North Central rivals Lobi Stars FC Of Makurdi in this year’s Aiteo Cup Quater Final pairings after beating stubborn Green Beret FC in a tightly contested duel at the FIFA Goal Project in Abuja.

Jonas Emmanuel’s 30 yards thunderbolt sent the Ikon Allah Boys into the last eight of the competition to halt Green Beret’s ‘giant killers’ bragging right having defeated Cup holders Bayelsa United to set up a round of sixteen clash with Niger Tornadoes.

The victory means Niger Tornadoes will now confront Lobi Stars of Makurdi in Jos in a North Central Derby to determines who claims the contests’ bragging rights.

The two teams have so much to play for going into the quarter final contest. For Niger Tornadoes and Abubakar Bala Mohammed, this is a familiar terrain; two finals within a short span of two years – 2017 and 2019, losing narrowly on penalty shoot outs on both occasions to Akwa United & Kano Pillars and last season quarter final exit to Rivers United means the Ikon Allah Boys are familiar on this roots.

Lobi Stars escaped relegation in the last day of the NPFL season, the second 45 minutes victory in Jos against Niger Tornadoes was a major turning point for Baba Ganaru’s wards, as the team picked in form towards the end of the season. A good run in the cup competition thus far has pitched them against Coach Bala’s tutored side who are eyeing their own pound of flesh against the Makurdi based outfit.

Niger Tornadoes could count on in-form strike Jonas Emmanuel to wreck havoc as the player has continued to impress wracking up goals and assists.

The Quarter Final clash is slated for Wednesday 10th August, 2022 at the New Jos Stadium.

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