A stoppage time goal by Ba’akaka Ajikolo helped El-Kanemi Warriors to a shock 0-1 win over a more determined Akwa United in the opening weekend of the 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League.
An ambitious attempt by goalkeeper Ojo Olorunleke to force his team’s attack resulted in a costly error when he was dispossessed in the midfield. A long ball drop for substitute Ajikolo who curled it into an empty net to hand his team their first ever win in Uyo.
The 0-1 defeat to El-Kanemi Warriors was the Promise Keepers first home loss in two seasons and brought to an end 31 unbeaten home run in the NPFL.
Coach Rafael Everton presented a strong squad including six new players in his starting eleven and despite dominating play, Mfon Udoh, Alberico Da Silva and Michael Ibe could not find the back of the net from their numerous chances.
The visitors were solid at the back and goalkeeper Itodo Akor enjoyed the cover from his defenders, however their best chance fell for Sunday Anthony whose strike rattled the woodwork in the 21st minute as both sides ended the first half goalless.
The Promise Keepers put up an inspiring performance in the second half and thought that they were in front when Michael Ibe slammed in Ndifreke Effiong’s cut back pass but the goal was disallowed for an offside.
The home side other chances went the way of Ubong Friday, Ndifreke Effiong, Mfon Udoh and Denis Nya but they were unable to convert their chances. In an effort to get the much needed goal, coach Everton threw Wisdom Fernando and Ocheme Edoh into the frey but their contributions did not yield positive result. Instead it was the visitors from Maiduguri that capitalised on Olorunleke’s error to score an Injury-time goal to secure all three points on the opening day of the season in Uyo.
Akwa United will look to pick themselves up when they travel to Kano for a date with Kano Pillars on Sunday 20th January, 2019.