EFFIONG NETS HAT-TRICK AS AKWA UTD RECORD FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON
Ndifreke Effiong netted a hat-trick and Paul Obata also scored as Akwa United demolished newly-promoted Adamawa United 4-0 in Uyo to record their first win of the 2019/2020 NPFL season in a spectacular fashion.
Effiong calmed the nerves at the Nest of Champions when he directed Paul Obata’s cross nicely into the net and moments later, he fired home his second of the game inside the six yard box assisted by strike partner Mfon Udoh.
Mid-way into the game, Paul Obata headed in Aniekeme Asuquo’s cross before Ndifreke Effiong completed his hat-trick in the second half with a stunning finish after a fine pass by Ifeanyi Ifeanyi.
There was calm and quiet atmosphere, albeit with some level of doubts in the minds of fans at the Nest of Champions during United’s fourth home game of the season following a run of three consecutive draws since the start of the season. Coach John Obuh’s men were quick to clear the doubts and responded with a superb display.
Any fears that the Promise Keepers might be suffering a hangover after picking up four draws and two defeats in their opening six matches of the season were quickly dispelled as they started their quest for a maiden NPFL title in a blistering style.
Coach Obuh made three changes to the team that lost in Akure on Matchday 6. Aniekeme Asuquo, Paul Obata and Mfon Udoh were preferred to Wilson Elu, Samuel Mathias and Chisom Chikatara.
Ndifreke Effiong, who scored his first goal of the season and Akwa United’s only goal in three home games against Nasarawa United, helped his side take the lead in the 6th minute when he directed Paul Obata’s cross beyond the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
He then doubled the lead with a ferocious strike off an assist by Mfon Udoh in the 18th minute. From that moment, Akwa United were coasting before Paul Obata increased their advantage when he headed home Aniekeme Asuquo’s sublime cross from the left on the 30th minute to make it 3-0 at half time.
Mfon Udoh, Ndifreke Effiong and Paul Obata all missed clear cut chances to increase their team’s advantage shortly after the restart.
Effiong completed his hat-trick with a composed finish in the 60th minute, assisted by Ifeanyi Ifeanyi. Left-back Philip David thought he had scored his first goal for the Promise Keepers when he headed in a rebound but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Coach Obuh introduced Wisdom Fernando, Akarandut Orok and Emmanuel Charles to replace Aniekeme Asuquo, Mfon Udoh and Morice Chukwu towards the end of the match and they sustained the tempo till the final whistle as they were applauded off the pitch by jubilant fans.
Reacting to his side’s first win of the season, Coach John Obuh said “We are grateful to God for this turn around, it’s what we have been waiting for, to help us kick start our season.
“Today’s victory came as a result of hard work on the part of the players, they were determined to get it right and the started very well. The early goals gave us lot of confidence and we hope to build on this result in our subsequent matches” excited Obuh conclude.
The victory took the Akwa United to 14th on the log with 7 points from 7 matches and will next face MFM in Lagos in one of Matchday 8 games scheduled for this weekend