Musa Newman and Christian Pyagbara both scored scintillating goals in each half on Wednesday as Akwa United subdued a determined Wikki Tourists side 2-0 to move to the 6th position on the Nigeria Professional Football League table at the Godswill Akpabio international stadium in a rescheduled match in Uyo.
Newman capitalised from poor defending by Wikki Tourists defenders inside the box and carefully controlled the ball before unleashing a blistering shot into the net in what was his team’s first attempt at goal in the 23rd minute of the match.
Substitute striker Christian Pyagbara who replaced Newman in the second half produce a moment of magic when he benefitted from Ubong Friday’s clearance on the half way line and went on a solo run, twisting and turning two Wikki Tourists defenders before he stylishly slammed the ball beyond the onrushing Goalkeeper Sani Halliru to drive the spectators wild in the dying minutes of the match.
Wikki Tourists who went into the match without a point in all their previous eleven away games, began the encounter on a ferocious note, dominating their hosts and creating some good goal scoring chances.
They would have taken the lead in the 18th minute when Richard Jonathan failed to direct his shot at goal after Akwa United’s goalkeeper Ojo Olorunleke mistimed a drop ball. However, Coach Bala Nkiyu’s team was to rue the missed opportunity five minutes later when Musa Newman scored his fourth goal of the season to give the Promise Keepers the lead.
Coach Abdu Maikaba’s boys missed a golden opportunity to double their lead in the 28th minute when Alhassan Ibrahim’s attempt was saved by Sani Halliru in Wikki Tourists’ goal.
Ubong Friday who received his VAT Wonder Goal Award shortly before kick-off was as brilliant as ever and a thorn in the flesh of Wikki Tourists’ defence as they went into the break leading with Musa Newman’s goal.
The second half resumed with both teams matching each other toe-to-toe, but it was the home side that settled in quicker following some excellent play by Ifeanyi Ifeanyi and Harmony Ikande who conducted the orchestra in the midfield.
In the defence, Captain Otobong Effiong, Ariwachukwu Emmanuel, Godspower Igudia, Kodjovi Dadzie were in their element to repeal all that was thrown at them by Victor Alegbe, Richard Jonathan and Harrison Madu.
In an effort to get an equalizer, Coach Bala Nkiyu threw Chinedu Onyelonu, Idris Guda and Abubakar Lawal into the frey in the second half but their introduction made little or no impact to change the score line of the match.
However, it was Akwa United that created three decent chances but Alhassan Ibrahim, Moses Ebiye and Cyril Olisema were unable to extend their team’s advantage towards the closing stages of the match.
Deep into injury time, Wikki Tourists in a desperate move to level up the scores mounted pressure on their host, before Pyagbara picked up a clearance pass and put the match beyond the visitors in the 92th minute.
The victory moved the 2015 Federation Cup champions to 6th position on the log with 36 points from 23 matches with a game in hand, while the defeat pushed Wikki Tourists to the 16 position with 30 points from 24 matches.
Akwa United will next face Katsina United on Sunday at the Nest of Champions.