Akwa United came from a goal down to record a resounding 3-1 victory over Abia Warriors as they picked up their fourth win of the season to begin the new year in style on Matchday 17 of the Nigeria Premier Football League at Eket Stadium.
The Promise Keepers had endured a difficult start to their campaign and had dropped ten points at home this season. They were looking to turn their fortune around in the new year but were pegged back after going behind through Emmanuel Onu’s 28th-minute goal for Abia Warriors.
Akwa United responded nicely with an excellent performance to stage a comeback, scoring twice in the space of three minutes. First, it was Mubarak Said who benefitted from Osoba Kabir’s beautiful play to score the equalizer in the 40th minute before David Philip gave his team the lead in the 42nd minute with a brilliant solo effort as the 2021 Champions went into the break with a deserved lead.
Ten minutes after the restart, Osoba Kabir was brought down in the box and referee Yusuf Garba rightly awarded a penalty to Akwa United. Striker Hadi Mohammed stepped up and scored from the spot to secure a comfortable win for the Uyo-based club.
The win shot Akwa United from 19th to 16th on the log with 18 points from 17 matches and caretaker coach Umar Abdullahi commended his players for their mental toughness and fighting spirit and congratulated them for the victory.
“It was a good outing for us and we are really excited that we won the match. We faced a tough team that came with a game plan, but my players showed a positive mental attitude to respond even after going behind. The out come of this game is a direct result of what we have been doing in our training sessions.
“My players really expressed themselves in the match and I think we could have scored more goals but we are grateful that we got the result we needed to improve our standing on the log. On behalf of the coaching crew, I want to sincerely appreciate everyone at the club for all the support we have received and I believe this is a good way to start the new year”.
Coach Abdullahi revealed that the team will be active in the mid-season transfer window in an effort to fortify the team with some quality signings.
Akwa United will next make a trip to Port Harcourt to engage Rivers United on Matchday 18.