MATCH REPORT- Kester & Nya Inspire Akwa Utd To 2-0 Win Over Rangers
|January 14, 2018||4:00 pm||Nigeria Professional Football League||NPFL 2016/2017||1|
|Godswill Akpabio International Stadium|
|Unnamed Road, Uyo, Nigeria|
Akwa United have recorded their first win over Enugu Rangers in three seasons after they dispatched the Flying Antelopes 2-0 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo to race to joint top of the Nigeria Professional Football League standings after opening day games.
The Promise Keepers were yet to defeat the seven-time champions at their fortress but all that changed when Kelly Kester and Dennis Nya put the Enugu side to the sword in Uyo on Sunday.
The hosts started the game with more urgency and it was no surprise they controlled the ball possession for most part of the first half while reducing Enugu Rangers to merely chasing after loose balls.
Akwa United head coach, Abdu Maikaba handed debut appearances to four new players: Kelly Kester, Dennis Nya, Victor Mbaoma and Aniekeme Asuquo while his counterpart at Enugu Rangers Gbenga Ogunbote also gave opportunities to Shedrack Francis, Semiu Liadi, Godwin Zaki and Abu Azeez who just joined the Flying Antelopes at the beginning of the current campaign.
The Promise Keepers had the first real productive attack in the 23rd minute after good exchange of passes between Cyril Olisema and Otobong Effiong which resulted into a quick counterattack but the inviting cross from Ubong Friday flew past his teammates in the Rangers’ vital area.
Rangers did not however lie down and allow Akwa United to roll over them for the entirety of the first half as they created the chance of their own in the 26th and 27th minutes but they could not make anything meaningful out of it.
The moment of truth came in the 40th minute when a well positioned Kester smashed home his first goal of the season for his new club after a good pass from Mbaoma.
The first half ended with Akwa United taking the one-goal lead to halftime but Rangers made a shock substitution with the withdrawal of ineffective Zaki for Tayo Fabiyi in the 42nd minute.
The hosts began the second half the way they ended the first and they eventually got their second goal in the 65th minute through Nya whose over 40 yards cracker caught Seidu Mutawakilu in goal for Rangers napping.
Ogunbote brought on Ajani Ibrahim and BrownBraye Okpus in place of Bright Silas and Tope Olusesi respectively in the 66th and 83rd minutes without much result while Akwa United’s Maikaba hurled off Cyril Olisema, Kester and Mbaoma for Adesina Gata, Aminu Nuhu and Christian Pyagbara in that order.
The important three points have taken Akwa United to joint top of the NPFL standings with three points and two goals along with Niger Tornadoes who thrashed Kwara United in Ilorin by the same scoreline.
AKWA UNITED: Olorunleke Ojo; Otobong Effiong, Kodjovi Dadzie, Kelly Kester (Aminu Nuhu 72’), Dennis Nya, Godspower Igudia, Ubong Friday, Cyril Olisema (Adesina Gata 66’), Victor Mbaoma (Christian Pyagbara 89’), Christopher Lolo, Aniekeme Asuquo
SUBS NOT USED: Emmanuel Iwu, Etim Matthew, Idio Ubong, Michael Ibe
RANGERS: Seidu Mutawakilu; Temitope Olusesi (BrownBraye Okpus 83’), Ugwu Uwadiegwu, Christian Madu, Shedrack Francis, Semiu Liadi, Bright Silas (Ajani Ibrahim 66’), Godwin Zaki (Tayo Fabiyi
42’), Abu Azeez, Chiamaka Madu, Godwin Aguda
SUBS NOT USED: Femi Thomas, Okey Odita, Salau Ibrahim, Adun Osamudiamwen
Akwa United 2-0 Rangers
Shots on target: 11-4
Shots off target: 9-5
Free kick: 16-8
Corner kick: 8-6
Yellow card: 1-1
Red card: 0-0
Man of the Match: Aniekeme Asuquo of Akwa United
Goals: Kelly Kester 40’, Dennis Nya 65′