Salisu Ogbe saved three spot kicks to help Kogi United booked next round ticket of 2019 Aiteo Cup after beating Akure City FC in the Round of 64 encounter on Tuesday.
The entertaining encounter played at the Mini Bowl of Kwara State Stadium, Ilorin saw United surrendered two goal lead to the youthful Akure side.
A product of the club’s youth system, Omajagu Umoru scored two first half goals for Kogi United (23rd and 41st minutes) both assisted by John Jerome.
The boys from Akure upped their game in the second half to draw level with two quick goals through Ola Onifade and Omooloyi Opeyemi in the 53 and 61 minutes respectively.
Adewumi Femi restored United’s lead four minutes later as he head home from yet another assist from Jerome.
Just as the Confluence state boys thought they were coasting home with the victory, Akure City won a late penalty after Abubakar Tenimu cynically upended Idowu Tosin and Anirobi Amaechi forced the game to shootouts as he send Ogbe to wrong side.
Ogbe, a product of Kwara Football Academy saved all three of Akure City’s spot kicks while Tenimu, Femi and Jerome all scored to move United to next round of the oldest football competition in the country.
Coach Tunde Abdulrahman of Kogi United who commended his boys for booking a passage to next round said his sides were stretched by a youthful and determined Akure side just as he praised goalkeeper Ogbe for his heroics during the shootouts.
“I must admit that it was a difficult match, they (Akure City) really stretched us, especially in the second half when we went too deep but I must also commend the boys for this win.
“Ogbe has been excellent for us so far, he’s been superb with his penalty saves, we really hope he continues with his brilliance and make us proud,” he said.
Kogi United’s next opponent will be determined during the next Round of 32 draws of the competition.