2021 Aiteo Cup grand finale will take centre stage today at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium Benin City Edo State, as Nasarawa United up against Bayelsa United, while Bayelsa Queens FC lock horns with Robo Queens in the women’s final.
Nasarawa United are determined to scoop their first national trophy since the club’s formation 18 years ago.Experience and exposure to continental football at the level of CAF Confederation Cup a few years ago was sweet, so the Solid Miners have been looking for another opportunity.
Victory on Sunday will restore them to the continent, and they bank on the marksmanship of Silas Nwankwo (who emerged top scorer in this year’s Nigeria Professional Football League with 19 goals) and the dead ball wizardry of ChigozieObasi to puncture the ambitions of Bayelsa United.
Second-tier Bayelsa United, who have had an amazing run in this year’s campaign, upending NPFL teams Rangers International of Enugu, Lobi Stars of Makurdi and Rivers United of Port Harcourt, are hoping to become the first team from Nigeria’s second-tier to win the Cup in 20 years. The last team to achieve that were Port Harcourt boys, Dolphins FC who bumped El-Kanemi Warriors 2-0 in 2001.
In the women’s Bayelsa Queens FC, who surprisingly pummeled perennial League and FA Cup champions Rivers Angels by five goals in the semi-finals are buoyed up for a big encounter against FC Robo Queens of Lagos, who ended the expressed ambitions of Edo Queens 5-3 on penalties after both teams were stalemated following a 0-0 draw in regulation time.
The fact of either of the two teams on both sides of the finals winning their first major trophy nationally is another theme that has shot up anxiety, passion and expectations among their players, fans and officials.
The women’s final will commence at 4pm, with the men’s final starting at 6pm.
At stake are prize monies of N25 million for the winner of the men’s competition and N10 million for the winner of the women’s competition. The runner –up for the men’s competition will pocket N10 million, wit the runner –up for the women’s event going home with N5 million.