Akwa United moved top of the Nigeria Professional Football League table for the first time this season on Sunday courtesy of their 2-1 victory over Sunshine Stars, and the result extended their unbeaten run to ten matches on Match-day 20 at the Nest of Champions in Uyo.
A goal in each half by Charles Atshimene and Seth Mayi either side of Sadeeq Yusuf’s equalizer secured the maximum points for the Promise Keepers as they maintain their unbeaten home run and improve their record to eight wins and two draws in their ten home games this season.
Coach Kennedy Boboye’s team who were held to a goalless draw by Sunshine Stars on Match-day 19 in Lagos, stepped up their game and got the result they wanted in Uyo.
They have garnered 37 points from 20 games and are top of the NPFL table on superior goal difference over Kano Pillars who have the same number of points but have conceded more goals.
The home team started brightly, dominated their visitors and created lots of good scoring opportunities but were unable to find a way past goalkeeper David Ariyo in Sunshine Stars’ goal.
In the 22nd minute, striker Charles Atshimene arrived at the far post to tuck in Mfon Udoh’s low cross to give his team the deserved lead with his fourth goal of the season.
Sunshine Stars drew level through striker Sadeeq Yusuf who benefitted from a lose ball to score his ninth goal of the season as both sides ended the first half on level terms.
The Promise Keepers resumed the second half from where they left off the first. They pinned their visitors back in their own half but failed to make the most of their chances.
Coach Kennedy Boboye introduced mid-season signings; Nasiru Jibril and Abubarka Aliyu in Place of Ikechukwu Nwani and Mfon Udoh.
Moments after his introduction, Abubarka Aliyu rattled the crossbar with a superb strike from outside the area and midfielder Seth Mayi fired the rebound in through the legs of goalkeeper David Ariyo to put the Promise Keepers in front and they held on to seal their tenth win of the season and move top of the log.
Coach Kennedy Boboye in a post-match interview said he instructed his players to go out and fight for all three points.
“We are happy that we got the result we wanted. I told my players not to underrate Sunshine Stars because they gave us a very good fight in Lagos on Match-day 19.
“I wish to sincerely congratulate my players for putting up such an impressive performance and this victory has now taken us to the top of the league so we have to keep fighting in all our matches so we can maintain the top spot”.
Akwa United will this weekend engage neighbours Dakkada FC on Match-day 21 in Uyo.