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Nigerian football resumes with Aiteo Cup Round of 32

The Aiteo Cup Round of 32 matches on Sunday afford the Nigeria Professional Football League teams still standing in the competition with an opportunity to put the disappointment of the top flight's premature discontinuation behind them.

Lobi Stars, who ended the league season atop the table, have already been eliminated, while Shooting Stars, Heartland and Bendel Insurance have already bitten the dust.

With a place in the CAF Confederation Cup at stake, the Aiteo Cup provides Nigerian sides with a chance to put a testing year behind them.

Defending champions Akwa United's quest to retain the cup sees them come up against minnows Aklosendi FC.

The Promise Keepers, aided by Aniekeme Asuquo's hat-trick, were in a class of their own in the previous round, trouncing Hope of Glory 7-0, while Aklosendi saw off the challenge of FRSC FC to book a date with the champions.

Elsewhere, Kano Pillars are paired against Sokoto United in what should be an exciting North-West derby.

Sai Masu Gida were handed a major scare against Ugwa FC in the previous round before wrapping up victory late on.

They need to be wary of a motivated Sokoto United side, who should be firing on all cylinders thanks to Super Eagles defender Shehu Abdullahi's promise of a N100,000 per goal to his boyhood club ahead of this encounter. 

Plateau United and Yobe Desert Stars square up in a Round of 32 fixture involving two top-flight teams.

The 1999 cup champions have got a bigger pedigree and superior squad, but they need to tread carefully, as upsets often define cup competitions.

Nasarawa United are up against giant-killers Standard FC, who ousted Lobi Stars on penalties in the Round of 64, and could be one of the real success stories of this year's edition if they can extend their giant-killing streak.

Rivers United are paired against Remo Stars Feeders, in a game which ought to have the top-flight team comfortably securing progression to the next round.

Bernard Ovoke was the Pride of Rivers' star of the show in the last round, with the winger netting four-goals in an electrifying 21 minutes first-half spell, as they easily ran out 6-0 winners against Gusau Eleven.

In other fixtures, Nigeria Nationwide League team Cofine FC, who knocked out Heartland on penalties in the last round, could be gunning for successive top-flight upsets when they play Sunshine Stars.

Go Round play their first game of the competition after securing a Round of 64 walk-over victory against Dan Masari.

The top-flight team face Supreme Court, conquerors of four-time cup champions Shooting Stars.

Enugu Rangers will need to vastly improve when they play Kebbi United in Abuja, they had to rely on penalties to dispatch Niger Tornadoes Feeders in the previous round, and mustn't underestimate Kebbi.

Four-time cup champions Enyimba and Dynamite FC have to reschedule for another date due to the People's Elephant CAF Confederation Cup quarter final away against Rayon Sports in Rwanda on the same day.

Aiteo Cup fixtures

Kano Pillars vs. Sokoto United

Cofine FC vs. Sunshine Stars

Crown FC vs. Abia Warriors

Dynamite FC vs. Enyimba

Kogi United vs. Niger Tornadoes

Nasarawa United vs. Standard FC

Enugu Rangers vs. Kebbi United

Remo Stars Feeders vs. Rivers United

Yobe Stars vs. Plateau United

Go Round vs. Supreme Court

Akwa United vs. Aklosendi

Mighty Jets vs. Kwara United

Osun United vs. Katsina United

Ifeanyi Ubah vs. J. Atete

El Kanemi Warriors vs. Katsina United Feeders

Wikki Tourists vs. Bayelsa United

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