Akwa United put up a spectacular performance to record a resounding 2-0 victory over Katsina United in the Nigeria Professional Football League NPFL at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on Sunday.
Two first half goals from Alhassan Ibrahim and Musa Newman was all that the Promise Keepers needed to pick up their 11th win of the season and maintained their unbeaten home record this season.
The home team made their intentions known from the kick off, taking the game to their visitors who looked disjointed and jittery in the early part of the game.
A decent attacking move by Musa Newman and Ubong Friday put Katsina United’s defence under intense pressure, before Ubong Friday capitalised on a defensive miscalculation. But a dangerous tackle on the winger by Baran Usman inside the box resulted in a penalty for the home side.
Top scorer Alhassan Ibrahim stepped up and scored in the 8th minute to give Akwa United an early lead, in what was his 11th goal of the season.
The Promise Keepers built on the early advantage and six minutes later, they were 2-0 up following a clever exchange of passes by Cyril Olisema and Ubong Friday who delivered a pin point cross for Newman to score his 5th goal of the season.
Motivated by the early goals and the support of their fans, Akwa United controlled proceedings but fell short of increasing the tally in what was a one-sided first half.
Katsina United resumed the second half with some level of confidence and had three clear goal scoring opportunities, but they were repeatedly denied by the brilliance of Ojo Olorunleke who had a flawless outing in goal.
Captain Otobong Effiong, Ariwachukwu Emmanuel, Godspower Igudia and Chigozie Chilekwu as well as Ifeanyi Ifeanyi and Aremu Afeez showed their fighting spirit and provided the needed cover for goalkeeper Olorunleke who kept his fourth clean sheet in five matches since arriving in mid season.
Coach Abdu Maikaba’s team who enjoyed lion share of ball possession created lots of goal scoring chances but failed to convert.
Alhassan Ibrahim rattled the woodwork from 25 yards. Newman, Olisema, Friday and Okechukwu were all guilty in the closing stages of the match as they all failed to add to the scoreline.
The victory moved Akwa United to 4th place on the log with 39 points from 24 matches, with a game in hand.
Akwa United will next battle bottom placed Remo Stars this weekend in Sagamu.