The Naze Millionaires, knocked out of this year’s CAF Confederation Cup competition in the third round by Leopards of Congo, overpowered Calabar's UniCem Rovers 2-1 at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba on Friday to sail through.
Enyimba, on their part, edged out hard-fighting Kogi United FC by a lone goal in Jos on Sunday, as the match was delayed following heavy downpour in the Plateau State capital on Saturday.
Relegated Premier League side, Crown FC hung on to a second minute goal to summarily eject Abubakar Bukola Saraki FC at the Dipo Dina International Stadium, Ijebu-Ode, while former Premier League side Prime FC battered Gamji FC i 5-1 at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Dynamite Force continued its fairy tale run with a one-goal defeat of Premier League side, Akwa United in Port Harcourt, and while Premier League big boys Gombe United and Lobi Stars pipped FAME Academy and Niger Tornadoes respectively, unfancied Samba FCsneaked into the last 16 by defeating Canaan City FC 1-0.
Sharks FC tore apart First Bank of Lagos 3-1 at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja and Enugu Rangers and Kano Pillars lived up to billing by shoving aside JUTH FC and Kaduna United respectively by two goals.
The shock of the round was the 3-0 whitewash of CAF Champions League campaigners Sunshine Stars by Nasarawa United, in Lokoja. Kwara United overcame Akpabio FC also in Lokoja, while El-Kanemi Warriors eliminated Abia Warriors 1-0 in Keffi and Plateau United turned back Ranch Bees of Kaduna 2-0 at the Ilorin Township Stadium.
Warri Wolves, also eliminated in the third round of the 2012 CAF Confederation Cup by Black Leopards of South Africa, needed penalty shoot-out to prevail over Sportlite FC at the Bako Kontagora Stadium, Minna.
The group stage, already scheduled for 16th – 20th July, will hold in four centres across the federation.
ALL 16 TEAMS FOR GROUP PHASE:
Heartland FC of Owerri, Prime FC of Oshogbo, Dynamite Force of Benin City, Sharks FC of Port Harcourt, Crown FC of Ogbomosho, Gombe United of Gombe, Rangers International of Enugu, Kwara United of Ilorin, Nasarawa United of Lafia, Samba FC of Enugu, Lobi Stars of Makurdi, Pillars of Kano, El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri, Plateau United of Jos, Wolves of Warri and Enyimba FC of Aba.