Substitute Cyril Olisema scored twice as two-time Federation Cup champions Akwa United came from a goal down to beat FC Ifeanyi Ubah 2-1 in their second game at the ongoing Nigeria Professional Football League Super-Six Championship play-offs at the Agege stadium in Lagos on Thursday.
The Promise Keepers fell behind through Emmanuel Ugwuka’s strike in the 33rd minute, before Cyril Olisema equalised in the 48th minute, and scored the winning goal from the spot in the 62nd minute to secure his team’s first victory in the play-offs.
The win move Akwa United to four points from two games following a 2-2 draw against Kano Pillars in their first match on Tuesday.
Coach Rafael Everton made three changes to the team that drew with Kano Pillars, U-23 defender Etboy Akpan, 2013 AFCON winner Juwon Oshaniwa and NPFL joint top scorer Mfon Udoh were all handed their first start in the competition.
The Promise Keepers had three chances inside the opening fifteen minutes. Ndifreke Effiong and Aniefiok Godspower saw their attempts narrowly missed the target. In the 20th minute, Ifeanyi Ubah’s Alaekwe Chijioke blasted his one-on-one chance over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
The Anambra Warriors took the lead in the 33rd minute through Emmanuel Ugwuka who fired a shot past Ojo Olorunleke after a brilliant work by Ikenna Cooper.
The Uyo based side almost got the equalizer moments later when Aniefiok Godspower delivered a delightful cross into the box only for Alberico Da Silva to slice it off target.
Coach Everton made two tactical substitutions towards the end of the first half. Cyril Olisema and Paul Obata replaced Mfon Udoh and Alberico Da Silva as FC Ifeanyi Ubah went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
Three minutes after the restart, Akwa United got the equaliser through Cyril Olisema who slammed home a rebound after goalkeeper Anozie had spilled Aniefiok Godspower’s rocket shot on to his path.
A neat combination between Cyril Olisema and Juwon Oshaniwa freed Ndifreke Effiong on the left flank. The striker’s cross into the box was handled by Charles Okafor and the referee rightly pointed to the spot. Cyril Olisema stepped up and scored splendidly to give his team a deserved lead and secure the victory for his side.
With four points from two games, Akwa United will next face Enugu Rangers on Saturday by 7pm.