BOJE FRUSTRATES AKWA UTD
___ Saves Mfon Udoh’s spot kick
Akwa United’s wait for their first victory of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League season continues on Wednesday afternoon after they were forced to a goalless draw by visiting Katsina United on Matchday 4 in Uyo.
Katsina United’s goalkeeper Abdullahi Boje was the hero for his side as he produced Man-of-the-Match performance, including saving Mfon Udoh’s second half penalty to keep his team in the game as they secure their first point on the road this season.
The Promise Keepers were held to a goalless draw in their first home game of the season by Abia Warriors and they were hoping for their first win of the season against a Katsina United side who had previously lost in their last three visits to Uyo.
Despite the home side’s dominance, they were unable to convert their many goal scoring chances. In what was a one-sided game, Akwa United frontmen were unable to find a way past Abdullahi Boje and his well coordinated backline.
Akwa United started asking questions as early as the second minute when Mfon Udoh was brought down outside the box. The striker delivered a delightful cross into the box, strike Partner Ndifreke Effiong flicked it towards Samuel Mathias whose header as saved by Boje.
The goalkeeper would then make three point blank saves to deny Mfon Udoh, Ndifreke Effiong and Denis Nya as the first half ended in stalemate.
On resumption of play, Michael Ohanu expressed himself nicely and delivered a low cross into the box but his pass was cleverly cleared by Frank Kappe before Mfon Udoh could reach it. In the 56th minute, the home side thought they were in front when Michael Ohanu tap in a low cross but Mfon Udoh was caught in an offside position in the build up.
Coach John Obuh introduced Aniekeme Asuquo and Ocheme Edoh in place of Ifeanyi Ifeanyi and Michael Ohanu. And the substitutes interchange beautifully in the 73rd minute but their final pass was handled by Godwin Alex and the referee rightly pointed to the spot. Mfon Udoh stepped up but his effort was saved by Boje, much to the disappointment of the home fans.
Moments later, Boje was in his element to keep out Mfon Udoh’s looping effort. Aniekeme Asuquo and Etboy Akpan terrorized the visitors back-line, but Katsina United were resolute in their defending. Deep into stoppage time, Etboy Akpan’s cross was handled in the box but the referee waved play on, much to the frustration of the home side as the game ended in a goalless draw.
Reacting to his side’s slow start to the season, Coach John Obuh apologize to the fans and assured them of positive results in subsequent matches.
“The fans reaction did not come as a surprise to me, considering the fact that we have just three points from a possible 12, definitely, nobody will be comfortable with that. There has been a lot of improvement in our games from the time we played Abia Warriors and Enyimba. I am only appealing to the fans to be patient with us that we will pick up.
“We would have love to also start like other teams with victories, but league football is a marathon and what we need is just to win one game and that will boosts our morale and by the grace of God that will come on Sunday against Nasarawa United. Two teams came here and pick points, we have a team that can also pick points away.
“My boys played well and created chances but we couldn’t score, we even had a penalty and we didn’t score. All these things do happen in football but we will continue to work hard so we can achieve our aim at the end of the season “.
With the result, Akwa United are without a win in their opening four matches of the season and they have just three points from a possible 12. They will next face Nasarawa United in Uyo on Matchday 5 fixture on Sunday.