Akwa United slipped from second to third in group A of the Nigeria Premier Football League table despite picking a vital point in Benin against table toppers Bendel Insurance on Matchday 11.
Coach Ayodeji Ayeni’s team clawed their way back into the game through Cyril Olisema’s clinical finish after Imade Osarenkhoe had given the hosts an early lead.
The 1-1 draw means Bendel Insurance is still unbeaten after 11 rounds of matches and stay top of group A on 25 points while Akwa United is third on the log with 19 points from the same number of games.
The Promise Keepers went into the game on the back of a 2-0 win over Shooting Stars in Uyo but fell behind at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium two minutes into the game.
The 2021 NPFL champions stepped up their game and responded nicely through Cyril Olisema who tucked in Ubong Friday’s delightful delivery from a free kick after Taiye Muritala was fouled in Bendel Insurance half of the pitch.
In an effort to secure victory, both sides made some tactical changes and pushed for the kill but their attempts were unsuccessful as the game ended 1-1.
Coach Ayodeji Ayeni in a post-match interview admitted that it was a tough game for his boys but commended them for their determination and fighting spirit.
“We came here fully prepared and with the determination to pick three points but at the end of the day it’s one point that we got and I think it’s a fair result considering the fact that it was a tough game”.
Akwa United will next face Enyimba International in Uyo on Matchday 12 this weekend