Sports Recorder edition, February 20, 2023. By Mfon Patrick
Akwa United ended the first stanza of the 2022-23 Nigeria Premier Football League season in third place after playing a thrilling 2-2 draw with Shooting Stars on Matchday 9 in Ibadan on Sunday.
Hosts, Shooting Stars took the lead through Joshua Akpan in the 14th minute before Uche Collins leveled the scores for the Promise Keepers in the 20th minute with a brilliant strike.
Akwa United then went Infront through Liman Ahmadu who tucked in Cyril Olisema’s rebound from a free kick in the 23rd minute. The home side drew level in first-half stoppage time when Ibrahim Ajani bundled in a low cross as both sides went into the break on equal terms.
Both sides showed courage and determination, but their many attempts to score the winning goal in the second half were unsuccessful due to some poor finishing and the brilliance of the two goalkeepers as they settled for a point apiece.
The point in Ibadan moved Akwa United to 3rd on the ten-team table with 15 points from 9 matches.
Head coach of Akwa United Ayodeji Ayeni lamented that they were unlucky not to have gotten all three points in a match he admitted his boys played well.
“We had a good game today against Shooting Stars. It was a very tactical game, and the result was not bad at all. We came here to win, the boys played well, but I think we were unlucky not to have gotten the third goal. We created good scoring chances, but finishing was our major setback”.
Meanwhile, the management of the club has announced a seven-day mid-season break for players and officials to enable them participate in the forthcoming general elections starting this weekend across the country. The players are expected to return to camp in Uyo on or before Monday February 27, 2023 as training is scheduled to commence the same day at four O’clock in the afternoon.