Akwa United brushed aside ABS FC of Ilorin 3-0 on matchday 21 of the Nigeria Professional Football League at the Godswill Akpabio international stadium in Uyo on Sunday.
Goals from Musa Newman, Ubong Friday and Gabriel Okechukwu motivated Akwa United to an emphatic victory over ten man ABS.
Coach Abdul Maikaba handed a home debut to four of his mid season signings- goalkeeper Ojo Olorunleke, Christopher Lolo, Harmony Ikande and Gabriel Okechukwu.
The home team announced their intentions early in the game with some attacking play before taking the lead through Musa Newman who headed in Moses Ebiye’s cross in the 33rd minute after a goal mouth melee.
The host would have doubled their lead in the 39th minute but Suleiman Dogo made a brilliant save to deny Moses Ebiye’s strike as Akwa United went into the break with 1-0 lead.
The Promise Keepers resumed hostilities in the second half with the same intensity they finished the first.
Moses Ebiye was unlucky not to score in the 48th minute when his effort only hit the woodwork.
ABS who were completely outplayed and outclassed by their hosts were later reduced to ten men in the 52nd minute after Ebuka Anaekwe was sent off following a second bookable offense.
Akwa United capitalised on the numerical advantage and enjoyed lion share of possession.
The Promise Keepers doubled their lead in the 63rd minute from Ubong Friday’s wonder goal as the forward received a pass outside the box and curled it into the top corner in what may likely be a top contender for the goal of the season to bring his tally to five in the campaign.
Coach Maikaba introduced Cyril Olisema and Gabriel Okechukwu into the game towards the end of the match and with ten minutes to end the game. New signing Gabriel Okechukwu put the match beyond the visitors when he tapped in Ubong Friday’s cross from close range for his first goal for his new club.
The victory propelled Akwa United to 4th position in the table with 33 points from 21 matches as they extend their unbeaten run to five matches( 4 wins and one draw)
Speaking after the match, Coach Maikaba congratulated his players and said he was satisfied with his team’s performance.
” Our top three players did not play but we did not miss them either. Those who played gave good account of themselves and we are very happy with the result, but we will keep working to achieve our target”.
Coach Henry Makinwa of ABS conceded that his team lost to a better side.
“We came here to win or pick at least a point, but the Akwa United team we played against is different from the one we beat in Ilorin in the first round”.
” Today, we lost to a very good team, they were better than us in all the department “.
Akwa United will next engage Rivers United on Wednesday in Port Harcourt.