Akwa United put up a brilliant performance on Matchday 15 of the Nigeria Premier Football League decided at the Nest of Champions to thrash visiting Kwara United 3-1 to move up to second position in Group A.
A blistering start to the game saw the Promise Keepers take the lead in the 19th minute through left-back, Taiye Muritala whose ferocious strike outside the box sailed into the top left corner of the post.
Eight minutes later, midfielder Cyril Olisema doubled Akwa United’s lead with a brilliant finish before captain Ubong Friday guided Uche Collins’ low cross into the net in first-half stoppage time to give the 2021 champions a resounding 3-0 lead at halftime break.
The visitors made some changes at the start of the second stanza of the game and it paid off almost immediately as one of the substitute players Samed Kadiri benefitted from a loose ball inside Akwa United’s box to smash home from close range.
Efforts by both teams to add to their goal tally were unsuccessful as the Promise Keepers cruised to their seven victory of the season.
The result moved Akwa United a step closer to qualifying for the end-of-season playoffs as they now have 26 points from 15 games, five points behind leaders Bendel Insurance with three games before the end of the season.
Head coach of Akwa United Ayodeji Ayeni in a post-match interview congratulated his players for bouncing back to winning ways.
“I’m really excited that we were able to bounce back to winning ways. I want to congratulate my players for their determination and courage throughout the game. It was a tough game, but we were able to win because we made the best use of our opportunities.
“We still have three more matches to play before the end of the regular season and we have to keep fighting for points as we look forward to securing a playoff spot”.
Akwa United will next be in action on Thursday against Wikki Tourists in the round of 64 of the 2023 Federation Cup in Enugu before facing Remo Stars in Ikenne on Sunday.