Remo Stars recorded their first-ever win over Akwa United in six attempts in the Nigeria Premier Football League to push the 2021 champions to fourth position in Group A.
In what was a keenly contested encounter at the Remo Stars stadium in Ikenne on Matchday 16, the hosts were awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time when the referee adjudged that goalkeeper Jean Efala had fouled Seth Mayi in the box.
Junior Nduka’s spot kick in first-half stoppage time helped the hosts to a 1-0 win as they leapfrog the Promise Keepers into third place on the log with two matches before the end of the season.
With group A leaders Bendel Insurance on 32 points, the second and third position will see Enyimba International, Remo Stars, Akwa United and Plateau United struggling for the other two available play-off places.
Head coach Ayodeji Ayeni in a post-match interview expressed disappointment at the outcome of the match but maintained that his team’s target of making it out of group A for the playoffs is still achievable.
“It’s rather unfortunate that we didn’t get any points from the game. In my opinion, we played well but the outcome of the match is not a true reflection of what happened during the match. Apart from that penalty, the result would have been different.
“We have to put this defeat behind us quickly and set our minds on the remaining two games knowing all that we have planned and worked for this season can be achieved if we win the remaining matches”.
Akwa United have played 16 matches, comprising seven wins, five draws with four loses. They are on 26 points and will next engage El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri on Matchday 17 at the Nest of Champions in Uyo on Sunday.