Kwara United, Akwa United, Kano Pillars and Enugu Rangers started the group stages of the 2018 Federation Cup on a winning note while Sunshine Stars and Nasarawa United struggled against minnows.
The Harmony Warriors were the standout winners on the opening day of the fixtures at the Lagos centre when they thrashed 9-man Abia Warriors in a surprise result with Segun Alebiosu getting a treble.
Shamsudeen Hashimu and Wakili Musa were also on target as Amos Ogbuagu’s goal for the Warriors was a mere consolation. Goalkeeper, Uche Okafor and Ndifreke Effiong both of Abia Warriors were sent off in the ill-tempered match for unsporting conduct.
In the first game of the group in Lagos, Rivers United surrendered their lead to crumble 3-2 to Kano Pillars. Bernard Ovoke gave the Pride of Rivers an early lead from the penalty spot but Junior Lokosa drew Sai Masu Gida level in the second half before Rabiu Ali added two goals from the spot kick. Osita Chikere later reduced the deficit for Rivers United to make it a respectable loss.
At the Aba centre, Kogi United held much fancied Nasarawa United to a goalless draw in a match they could have won after they missed a second-half penalty kick through Olushola Ajala while Akwa United stopped hard fighting Wikki Tourists 1-0 at the Enyimba Stadium through a 53rd-minute strike from Victor Mbaoma.
At the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano, Sunshine Stars could not lift their game as they were held to a 0-0 draw by less fancied Supreme Court. Supreme Court had early beaten Shooting Stars and Go Round in the early rounds of the competition.
Enugu Rangers opened their group stage account with a win against Imama Amapakabo’s El Kanemi Warriors.
Ifeanyi George got the curtain raiser from the spot in the 10th minute before Afolabi Abdulwaheed levelled for the Borno Army. Kelvin Itoya put the Flying Antelopes back in the driver’s seat in the dying moments of the game to storm to the top of the group.
FEDERATION CUP GROUP STAGE MATCHDAY ONE RESULTS
Kano Pillars 3-2 Rivers United
Kogi United 0-0 Nasarawa United
Sunshine Stars 0-0 Supreme Court
Abia Warriors 1-5 Kwara United
Akwa United 1-0 Wikki Tourists
El Kanemi Warriors 1-2 Enugu Rangers