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Asaba stands still as Rangers, Pillars clash in Aiteo Cup final

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Asaba, the capital of Delta State will today become the soccer capital of the nation as all roads lead to the 25,000-capacity Stephen Keshi Stadium for the third edition of the Aiteo Cup final between Enugu Rangers and Kano Pillars.

Rangers have won the cup five times in the past when it was known as the Challenge Cup.

That was in 1974, 1975, 1976,1981 and 1983.

. Delta State Government, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa (2nd left); Chairman, Delta State Sports Commission, Tony Okowa (right); Dr. Patrick Egbase (2nd right) and Engr. Marks Macilineon, during the Governor’s Inspection at the On-going Completion of Stephen Keshi Stadium Asaba, Delta State

They reached the final on three occasions, in 2000, 2004 and 2007 but amazingly lost to Niger Tornadoes (0-1 in 2000),Dolphins (now RIVERS United 0-1 in 2004) and Dolphins (again) in 2007 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 regulation time scoreline.

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But singe the annual showpiece waa rechristened Aiteo Cup,  last year,  Akwa United became the proud first winners but unfortunately crashed our in the quarterfinals following a 4-2 defeat by Rangers.

Kano Pillars on their part, have found the Aiteo Cup a most turbulent RIVERS to Ford in the past.

The last time Pillars lifted the trophy was in 1953 and ever singe, never made it  to the grand finale.

Thus, this could be their finest moment. Coach Musa Ibrahim could be hipertensively clinging on the crest of glory today.

But can he overcome the fire spitting Flying Antelopes in this battle of  Asaba today?

“We are determined to do ourselves proud”, Musa enthused.

“We also want to do our BEST to make the people and government of Kano State proud.

“We know Rangers are a strong team With lots of experienced players. They are also seen as favourites.

“But it suites us coming here as underdogs. We are not short of quality and With the support of the STARS government and our supporters, Kano Pillars will do our best to win”.

“It will be a tough game, we hope to be able to take our chances”, Ogunbote said.

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