A goal in each half by Mfon Udoh and Ikechukwu Nwani capped a convincing outing for Akwa United as they secured their second win away from home in the 2020/2021 season, beating MFM of Lagos 1-2 at the Agege Stadium on Match-day 17 on Sunday.
The victory, which was the Promise Keepers’ eighth win of the season, propelled Coach Kennedy Boboye’s team to third position on the NPFL table with 29 points, a point behind joint leaders Kwara United and Kano Pillars.
Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr and his assistants were at the Agege Stadium to watch the game and Coach Kennedy Boboye presented the same team which defeated FC Ifeanyi Ubah in Uyo on Wednesday. Akwa United gained control of the game from the blast of the referee’s whistle and striker Ndifreke Effiong came close to giving his team the lead in the second minutes when he headed Mfon Udoh’s delivery from a corner-kick inches off the target.
Philip David tried a long range shot from the left flank and his effort was flying towards the top corner but goalkeeper Folarin Abayomi managed to push it out but the ball fell for Mfon Udoh, who located Seth Mayi with a low ball. Seth Mayi dropped it for Morice Chukwu whose shot narrowly miss target.
The hosts fashioned out their first real chance at goal in the 33rd minute of the game when Paul Obata had a good chance to score but goalkeeper Adewale Adeyinka stood his ground to make a superb save.
MFM struggled to cope with United’s persistent pressure and in a desperate attempt to hold their line, Captain Ubong Friday was brought down on the edge of the box.
Mfon Udoh whipped in a dangerous freekick into the box, Seth Mayi rose the highest and directed it towards goal but the goalkeeper Folarin Abayomi tipped it against the crossbar.
On the stroke of half time, Akwa United took the lead through striker Mfon Udoh. The striker timed his run to perfection before slotting Ikechukwu Nwani’s sumptuous pass beyond the reach of Folarin Abayomi for his fourth goal of the season.
Just when the Promise Keepers thought they will be heading into the break with the lead, her former player Paul Obata levelled the scores in stoppage time when he fired a left-footed freekick into the bottom right corner with what was the last kick of the first half.
Eight minutes into the second half, Akwa United regained their lead when Seth Mayi interchanged nicely with Ndifreke Effiong. The striker threaded it through to Ikechukwu Nwani who composed himself and dribbled his marker before firing a low shot into the bottom left corner of the post for his team’s second goal of the game and his first for Akwa United.
After taking the lead, Coach Boboye introduced Ali Chiwendu and Adam Yakubu in place of Mfon Udoh and David Philip. Moments after coming on, Ali Chiwendu freed Morice Chukwu with a good pass but the midfielder’s effort went wide from a promising position.
The home side pushed for the equalizer but they were unable to break a we coordinated back-line marshalled by Etim Mathew, Sampson Gbadebo, Olisa Ndah and Ali Chiwendu who provided a good cover for goalkeeper Adewale Adeyinka.
Towards the end of the game, striker Akarandut Orok came on and replaced goalscorer Ikechukwu Nwani. Shortly after, Seth Mayi dribbled his way through a crowded defense and found space down the left.
He raced forward to the byline and delivered a cross into the box towards Akarandut Orok but the striker couldn’t direct the final ball into the net.
Deep into stoppage time, Ubong Friday pick up a lose ball outside the box and fired a powerful low drive but goalkeeper Folarin Abayomi stretched full length to make a one-handed safe as they Promise Keepers recorded their second away win this season and their first-ever victory against MFM in Lagos in five visits.
Reacting to his team’s victory, Coach Kennedy Boboye said;
“My boys really did well, they fought hard and did what I asked them to do and the result came. MFM is not a push over side, we played well today and took our chances and we are happy that we have been able to win this game.
“I want to congratulate my boys because we have an attitude of not giving up, at the beginning of the season, we didn’t start well but we told ourselves that we have to take it one game at a time and that is what we are doing”.
Akwa United will next take on Lobi Star on Match-day 18 at the Nest of Champions this weekend in Uyo.