Having both qualified for the NPFL Super 6 and the Federation Cup quarterfinals, Bendel Insurance and Sunshine Stars are all on course for a historic double.
Three-time Nigerian cup champions Heartland, have been knocked out of the 2023 Federation Cup by high-flying Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) side Bendel Insurance.
Wednesday marked the Round of 16 fixtures of the 2023 edition of the competition, with both sides taking on themselves in an early kick-off at the Akwa City Stadium in Anambra.
21:37 - 23.05.2023
The semifinal will see four heavyweight square off on Friday, May 25, with the winner of the two ties, heading the 2023 final.
Bendel Insurance win battle of cup heavyweights
Bendel Insurance and Heartland who so far, had amazing campaigns in the NPFL and the second division: the Nigeria National League (NNL), progressed to the last 16 following round of 32 wins over Abia's Ahudiya and Cross River's Essien Ayi.
Thursday's wet meeting in Awka saw the NPFL side come out tops after a 47th-minute strike by Ismael Sarki decided the game.
Following their 1-0 result, Bendel Insurance will now proceed to the quarterfinals alongside seven others, as they continue to make a historic match for their first cup title in 43 years.
The Benin side are also three-time champions of the Federation Cup having won the championship in 1972, 1978 and 1980.
Sunshine secure QF passage, eyeing historic double
Meanwhile, at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin, NPFL side Sunshine Stars overcame NNL club side EFCC FC in a thrilling 3-2 game to secure their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.
Sunshine Stars had on the final day of the NPFL season over the weekend, secured a place in the Super 6 playoffs to compete for the league title.
With the victory over EFCC FC on Wednesday, the Akure club side will begin to fancy their chances of going for a historic double.
19:04 - 21.05.2023
It's celebration time for Enyimba, Remo Stars who expectedly made it through to the NPFL Super 6, Sunshine Stars sneaked in while it was despair for the United teams and Warriors.
17:00 - 21.05.2023
With the NNL 2023 season, divided into eight sub-groups: A1, A2, A3, A4, B1, B2, B3 and B4, only winners of the groups will stand a chance at promotion to the NPFL.