Akwa United recorded their second pre-season victory over fellow NPFL side Rivers United in the space of seven days with a 0-1 win in Port Harcourt on Saturday morning.
Youngster Wisdom Fernando came off the bench to score the decisive goal in the 58th minute of the game to help the Promise Keepers secure their third victory in five pre-season matches.
Coach Rafael Everton’s boys had on Sunday defeated Rivers United 2-0 in Uyo and the win in Port Harcourt saw the Uyo based side do the double over the Pride of Rivers within a week.
Akwa United fielded a strong team for the game with Ojo Olorunleke, Etim Mathew, Denis Nya, Wilson Elu and Juwon Oshaniwa in the defense. Emeka Atuloma, Michael Ibe and Alberico Da Silva operated in the midfield while Ubong Friday, Ndifreke Effiong and Mfon Udoh started up front in a 4-3-3 formation.
Both teams engaged each other in an explosive opening to the game and created decent goal scoring opportunities but were unable to convert their chances. Goalkeepers Ojo Olorunleke made three excellent saves to deny the home team while Idris Bamba was in his element to keep out Alberico Da Silva’s strikes twice in the first half as they went into the break on level terms.
Coach Rafael Everton introduced Wisdom Fernando and Ezekiel Bassey at the beginning of the second half.
Both players combined nicely and in the 58th minute Ezekiel Bassey mesmerized Rivers United backline and released Wisdom Fernando in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper and he calmly beat Idris Bamba and slot his effort into the net to give his team the deserved lead.
Motivated by the lead, the Promise Keepers stamped their authority and dominated play with some brilliant display. Coach Everton introduced Ubong Essien, Christopher Lolo, Chigozie Chilekwu, Markson Ojobo, jean Efala and Kodjovi Dadzie towards the end of the game and they all did well to put up an impressive display.
The Promise Keepers had a golden opportunity to increase their lead but Wisdom Fernando’s effort inside the box went agonisingly off target as they cruise to their third pre-season win in five matches.
The team will continue their pre-season programmes next week in Uyo ahead of the start of the new NPFL season.