With one point from the opening three games of the new campaign and staying bottom of the table, Akwa United is in desperate need of their first win of the season and they will be aiming to play their A game on Sunday when they engage visiting Shooting Stars of Ibadan on matchday 4 at the Eket Stadium.
The organizers of the Nigeria Premier Football League recently granted Akwa United’s request to play her home matches of the 2023-24 season at the 18,000 sitting capacity Eket Stadium, until such a time that the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Nest of Champions will be less busy with international matches.
The Promise Keepers have good memories of the Eket Stadium having had their pre-season camping there where they recorded victories in all their preparatory games. Last season, Akwa United played one league match at the stadium where they defeated Plateau United by a lone goal scored by James Ajako.
They have also enjoyed good fortunes at the stadium in some grade A friendlies having defeated Katsina United 2-1, Enugu Rangers 2-0 and defeated Vandrezzer FC 4-1 in a recent pre-season friendly.
Having lost 5-3 to Bayelsa United in Yenagoa, drew goalless with Sporting Lagos in Uyo before losing 3-2 to Enyimba in Aba last time out, coach Fatai Osho’s team knows that victory this weekend would go a long way to turning the mood around, and get the season moving in an upward direction.
The 2021 champions have been prolific in front of goal especially away from home having scored five goals in two away games but are yet to score at home this season following a goalless draw with Sporting Lagos in their only home game on matchday 2. With five goals scored and eight conceded, the Promise Keepers have a goal deficit of -3.
The Technical Director of the team coach Edwin Okon collaborates coach Osho’s belief that the team will be at their very best on Sunday against Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan who are 4th on the log with six points having won two of their opening three games of the season recording 2-1 victories over Plateau United and Gombe United respectively, losing 2-0 to Bendel Insurance in Benin, scoring four and conceded four in the process.
Last season, Akwa United won 2-0 in Uyo and were held to a 2-2 draw in Ibadan. They have the upper hand in the head-to-head record having enjoyed seven victories to Shooting Stars five wins while two of those encounters ended in draws in the last fourteen meetings between the two teams.
The visitors are without a win and have never picked a point in their last seven visits and the Promise Keepers will be encouraged to continue their dominance over their visitors from the West.
Four players; Hadi Mohammed, Seyi Oguntayo, Kufre Ebong and David Philip have scored the club’s five goals so far and Akwa United fans and supporters will be expecting their boys to fire on all cylinders on Sunday as they hope to move out from the danger zone on the log.
The match is scheduled to kickoff at four O’clock in the afternoon and there will be live updates on all Akwa United social media platforms.