Akwa United produced a brilliant performance to record their third straight victory in the 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League; a resounding 4-0 thrashing of newly promoted Kada City FC of Kaduna on Matchday 8 at the Godswill Akpabio International stadium in Uyo on Monday.
Top striker Mfon Udoh opened the floodgate of goals in the 6th minute when he guided in a deflected ball from close range. Strike partner Ndifreke Effiong then raced down the middle to tuck in Etim Mathew’s low cross in the 35th minute to double the Promise Keepers’ advantage.
Substitute Wisdom Fernando made it 3-0 in the 61st minute with a powerful low drive before Ndifreke Effiong completed his brace four minutes later when he followed up a rebound to score a superb goal and secure a comfortable win which moved them to 4th on the NPFL Group B log.
Coach Rafael Everton made two changes to the team that beat Yobe Dersert Stars in Damaturu on Thursday: Etim Mathew and Juwon Oshaniwa were preferred to Etboy Akpan and Kodjovi Dadzie.
The Promise Keepers who started the game in 8th place, went into the game on the back of two straight wins against Go Round and Yobe Dersert Stars and needed to win by two goals or more to move up to 4th on the log; a result they achieved with ease.
The home team took the game to their visitors from the blast of the referee’s whistle and could have been ahead as early as the second minute. Etim Mathew who was playing his first game of the season found space on the right and delivered a delightful cross into the vital area but his effort was deflected out for a corner. Alberico Da Silva’s delivery eluded three of his teammates; Mfon Udoh, Ndifreke Effiong and Ubong Friday as the ball rolled out of play.
The Promise Keepers heaped more pressure on their opponents and in the 4th minute, Ubong Friday and Ndifreke Effiong missed two clear chances in the space of one minute to give their team the lead.
Top striker Mfon Udoh however gave his team the deserved lead in the 6th minute when he guided in a deflected ball after Kada City goalkeeper Sunday Okoh got his hands on Ndifreke Effiong’s attempt. It was the striker’s fourth goal in seven matches.
The home side were forced to make an early substitution following an injury to captain Ubong Friday. He was replaced by Wisdom Fernando. The Uyo based side dominated play and could have doubled their advantage in the 31st minute when Ndifreke Effiong released Juwon Oshaniwa on the left. The defender decided to shoot from a tight angle instead of passing to his teammate who was unmarked in the box.
Ndifreke Effiong who was a thorn in the flesh of Kada City’s defense doubled his team’s advantage in the 35th minute. The bulky striker raced down the middle to beautifully slam in Etim Mathew’s sumptuous cross as the home side went into the break with a deserved lead.
Akwa United continued the second stanza from where they left off the first. Fernando timed his run to perfection and freed Udoh but the striker could not direct his effort at goal.
Coach Everton replaced Christopher Lolo with Ubong Essien in the 58th minute. And three minute later Wisdom Fernando increased his team’s tally with a wonderful low drive from the edge of the box after he was assisted by Alberico Da Silva.
United got their fourth goal of the game through Ndifreke whose initial attempt to locate Mfon Udoh was blocked by Kada City defender and the ball fell back to him in the area. Effiong kept his calm to finish superbly from six yards for his fourth goal in seven matches.
Kada City had their first attempt at goal in the 72nd minute following a swift counter attack but Sadiq Suleiman’s strike rattled the post, much to the disappointment of the visitors.
The two-time Federation Cup Champions could have scored more towards the end of the game but Mfon Udoh’s curling shot from Wisdom Fernando’s pass narrowly missed the target and Ndifreke Effiong wasted a golden opportunity to get his hat-trick when he chose to pass to strike partner Mfon Udoh instead of shooting at goal from a good position. The two goals in each half was enough to secure their third victory on the bounce and move them to 4th on the log with 11points from 7 matches.
The Promise Keepers will next travel to Umuahia to battle Abia Warriors on matchday 9 on Thursday while Kada City will host Kano Pillars in Kaduna on the same day.