Akwa United wrapped up their 2022-23 Nigeria Premier Football League season with a 0-1 away win over Gombe United at the Pantami stadium but missed out in the top three places and failed to pick one of the playoff tickets in Group A.
The Promise Keepers finished their season in 4th place in Group A on 32 points, same as Enyimba International who ended their campaign in third place to qualify for the Super-Six playoffs on superior goal difference. Bendel Insurance and Remo Stars have also booked their places in the end-of-season playoffs.
James Ajako’s exquisite free kick in the 30th minute earned coach Ayodeji Ayeni’s team their second away win of the season and helped them do the double over Gombe United as they continue their dominance over the Savanna Scorpion to eight wins, three draws and three loses in fourteen meetings.
Missing out in the season-ending playoffs means that the 2021 champions will not have the opportunity of playing continental football next season despite ending the season on a high with an improved performance of nine victories, five draws, with four loses in 18 games this season, scoring 24 while conceding 14 goals.
Head coach of the team Ayodeji Ayeni in an exclusive interview with the club’s website www.akwaunitedfc.com expressed appreciation to the management, players, staff and fans of the team for their constant support this season and promised a better outing next season.
“I’m disappointed that we are unable to make it to the Super-Six playoffs. From the beginning of the season, our target was to finish among the top three teams in Group A so we could challenge for the league title. It’s not what we wished for but that is football for you.
” We all know how difficult an abridged league season could be. We lost our first match at home but managed to pick up along the way. Missing out on the playoffs on inferior goal difference is disappointing and we have learned from this experience.
“I want to congratulate the management of this team for their constant support to the club. I also want to thank my players for their courage and determination. I can’t forget the Wonderful support and encouragement of our dear fans and supporters. We are deeply sorry for not being able to achieve our target this season, hopefully we shall have something to celebrate next season”.