…as sunshine halts River’s unbeaten run
Reigning Nigeria Professional Football League Champions, Akwa United recorded their biggest victory in the NPFL following a 6-1 thrashing of Nasarawa United on match-day 24 at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.
Captain Ubong Friday, who recently returned to full fitness opened the score line in the seventh minute from a rebound after goalkeeper Danlami Umar spilled Bello Babatunde’s free kick.
Midfielder Adam Yakubu doubled the lead in the 15th minute from Bello Babatunde’s low cross before Wisdom Fernando scored twice within seven minutes to make it 4.
Fernando’s first was a long pass from goalkeeper Adewale Adeyinka sending a low drive into the bottom left corner of the post. He grabbed his brace when he stylishly volleyed home his team’s fourth goal of the afternoon as they went into the break with a deserved lead.
Early in the second half, Nasarawa United’s pressing earned them a goal through King Osanga.
But Akwa United responded almost immediately through Bello Babatunde whose well-timed strike flew past Danlami Umar into the back of the net.
Ten minutes before the end of the game, substitute striker Franklin Matib put the icing on the cake when he raced down the right flank and unleashed a powerful strike beyond Danlami Umar for Akwa United’s sixth goal of the game as the hosts secured their eighth win of the season.
The 6-1 victory over Nasarawa United was the first time Akwa United have beaten any team by such a wide margin in their 14 seasons in the Nigeria’s top flight league. It is also the highest win recorded by any NPFL side in the 2021/22 season.
Coach Ayodeji Ayeni’s team who are on a five-match unbeaten run comprising two (2) wins and three (3) draws in a post match interview congratated his players for putting up a splendid performance against a team like Nasarawa United.
“We are improving everyday, and I’m happy that we have been able to change the mentality of the players and hard work we put in during training is beginning to reflect in our matches and the boys are also very confident and determined.
“Our attention is now on the game against Lobi Stars this weekend. Our target is to give our very best in all our games while hoping for the best as we continue to move forward,” Ayeni said.
The Promise Keepers remained 7th on the log with 36 points from 24 games and they will next engage Lobi Stars in Uyo on Sunday 24th April, 2022.
Sunshine Stars 1-0 Rivers United.
Meanwhile, Leonard Ugochukwu’s header in the 5th min was all the Owena Whales needed to halt the 12 match unbeaten run of Rivers United.
This 1-0 victory in Akure makes Sunshine the second after Plateau United to defeat Rivers this season.
At their first encounter in Port Harcourt, Sunshine held Rivers to a goaless draw. Only Sunshine has kept clean sheets on two occasions of their encounter with Rivers.
Rivers however still tops the log of the league with 52 points, four points ahead of second placed Plateau United
Tagged “The Real SPOILER”, Sunshine Stars also ended the 11 matches unbeaten run of Plateau United in MatchDay 20.
In other encounters of Match Day 24 on Thursday, Enyimba defeated Kano pillars by four goals in Aba, Heartland defeated second placed Plateau United by a goal while MFM FC fell at home by 2 goals to Wikki Tourists.