Two-time federation cup champions Akwa United on Wednesday bowed out of the 2019 Aiteo (FA) Cup competition after losing 3-0 to Rivers United in the round of 32 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu
First half goal by Kehinde Adedipe and two more by Bright Oyendikachi and Ossy Martins condemned the Promise Keepers to a demoralising defeat as their hopes of a third FA cup triumph in five years went up in smoke.
Akwa United began the game on the front foot and had the chance to go in front in the 6th minute when Aniekeme Asuquo cut it back for Denis Nya whose shot was saved by the goalkeeper Akande Abiodun.
The Pride of Rivers took the lead in the 10th minute through Kehinde Adedipe who tapped in a rebound after goalkeeper Ojo Olorunleke had saved Bright Onyedikachi’s low free-kick.
Akwa United had some encouraging moments after going behind. Cyril Olisema, Denis Nya, Ndifreke Effiong, Aniekeme Asuquo and Ocheme Edoh all went close but their efforts were unsuccessful largely due to the brilliance of Akande Abiodun in Rivers United goal.
The 2017 champions continue to pile more pressure on the Pride of Rivers after the restart. But Marshal Johnson’s overhead kick was spectacularly saved by Abiodun who had a great outing. Rivers United extended their lead in the 54th minute when diminutive winger Bright Onyedikachi skipped past Etboy Akpan and beautifully curled in a superb ball into the far left corner of the net.
Ndifreke Effiong had the chance to reduce the deficit in the 69th minute but his effort from Ocheme Edoh’s flick on was scramble out for a corner by ever lively Abiodun.
Ossy Martins put the game beyond the Promise Keepers when he timed his run to perfection to head in a sumptuous cross from the right flank to help his team to a comfortable win as they move on to the last sixteen of the oldest Cup competition in the country.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Promise keepers as the defeat knocked them out of the competition and rounded off a deeply disappointing afternoon in Enugu.