Rivers Angels, Bayelsa Queens ignite rivalry in AITEO Cup semis

When the AITEO Cup resumes on Saturday for the semi-finals, the Nembe City stadium would be the centre of attraction in the women’s category as Rivers Angels and Bayelsa Queens go head to head for the third time this year.

Last year, the South South rivals clashed in the final of the cup competition at the Teslim Balogun stadium in Lagos and it was the Jewel of Rivers who emerged victorious on penalties after a keenly contested regular time encounter.

While Rivers Angels are looking to defend their title, Bayelsa Queens have their eyes on a third AITEO Cup final appearance and can even begin to smell the trophy if they can successfully delete their nemesis from the competition.

During the regular season of the Nigeria Women Premier League, both sides met twice and each enjoyed 2-1 home victories, so it will not be so much of a surprise if this AITEO Cup tie is decided by penalties. Not forgetting that they overcame their quarter-final opponents via penalties as well. However, the battle is expected to be fierce over two legs as both sides are well equipped going forward; with the likes of Tessy Biahwo and Aminat Yakubu for Bayelsa Queens, then Amarachi Ojinma and Patience Kalu for Rivers Angels.

After the first leg takes centre stage in Nembe on Saturday, the return leg will be decided at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium on Wednesday 4 October.

Abia Angels kicked out

After reaching the semi-finals of the oldest football competition in the country for the first time ever, Abia Angels were on Thursday thrown out for fielding an ineligible player in their quarter-final encounter against Confluence Queens.

According to the Head of AITEO Cup competition, Emmanuel Adesanya, the decision was made after a careful consideration of a protest lodged by Confluence Queens. The player in question was not disclosed. Meanwhile Abia Angels are aggrieved that they were not given the opportunity to defend themselves as they intend to protest the decision.

The decision however means Confluence Queens will now be the ones to play Ibom Angels in the other semi-final on Saturday in Uyo, before hosting them in Lokoja next week. Both sides will be meeting for the first time this year.
It is just unfortunate how things have turned out for Abia Angels who in the last eight beat Confluence Queens 1-0 at home in Umuahia, before coming from two goals down to shock the Lokoja based side in the return leg.