Alebiosu's hat-trick lights up Aiteo Cup Round of 16
Segun Alebiosu was undoubtedly the star of matchday one in the Aiteo Cup Round of 16, as the forward's hat-trick fired Kwara United to a one-sided 5-1 victory against nine-man Abia Warriors.
The Group C encounter, played at the Agege Stadium in Lagos, saw Kwara take a 13th-minute lead from the spot via Musa Wakili's strike.
Abia were reduced to 10-men when goalkeeper Uche Okafor was sent off for a foul outside the area, and Alebiosu struck a beautiful free kick to double the lead from the resultant free kick in the 30th-minute.
Shamsuden Hashim increased the lead with the third of the day, but Amos Okoro reduced the deficit with a fine individual effort.
Ndifreke Effiong was shown a straight red for a reckless foul, and the opponents duly capitalised on the numerical advantage, with Alebiosu netting twice late in the game to put Kwara on top of Group C.
In the group's other clash, Kano Pillars came from behind to earn a 3-2 win against Rivers United.
Bernard Ovoke put Rivers ahead from the spot in the 10th-minute - his fifth goal of the competition - after Faud Usman had conceded the foul.
However, Pillars turned the game on its head in the second half; Junior Lokosa levelled from a goalmouth scramble, before Rabiu Ali struck twice from the spot after the NPFL top scorer was needlessly fouled on both occasions.
Despite Pillars' Joel Djondang getting his marching orders for a second yellow card, and Osita Chikere's 77th goal, Rivers failed to find the decisive strike to force a draw, thus ending in third-place after matchday one.
In Group B fixtures played at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano, Victor Mbaoma's 53rd-minute tap-in from Matthew Etim's cross sealed a 1-0 Akwa United win against Wikki Tourists, and a spot at the top of the standings.
In the group's other game, Nigeria National League side Kogi United forced Nasarawa United to a goalless draw.
In Group D matches played at the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba, Sunshine Stars and Supreme Court FC battled out to a disappointing scoreless draw.
Twice Franklin Sasere went close to nicking maximum points for Sunshine - a goalbound header cleared on the line and a free kick which the goalkeeper saved - but both teams eventually settled for a draw, and now have it all to play for in their final two group matches.
Kelvin Itoya's superb 86th-minute headed goal was decisive as Enugu Rangers beat El-Kanemi Warriors 2-1 in the second Group D encounter.
John Lazarus hacked down Bright Silas and a penalty was given against the Warriors, with Ifeanyi George making no mistake from the spot to hand Rangers a 10th-minute lead.
Afolabi Abdulwahid struck a low volley past Nana Bonsu to draw El Kanemi level, before Itoya's late winner sending the Flying Antelopes to top spot.