Five star Akwa United land first title in style
By Fisayo Dairo
Akwa United Football Club of Uyo on Sunday officially joined the elites of Nigerian league football when they hammered MFM FC 5-2 to seal their first ever Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) crown.
The White and Orange colours of Akwa Ibom state gloriously submerged into a sea of football lovers and fans of the state owned team, Akwa United that had defied a looming rainfall and snappy threats of a global pandemic to cram into the picturesque Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Sunday.
Playing for the first time in Uyo in the presence of the state’s helmsman, Governor Udom Emmanuel, it was never in doubt that Akwa United, coached by Kennedy Boboye – a proven league winner – would etch their name in glory.
They waited over twenty minutes before breaking the deadlock against an organised MFM FC side but from the moment club’s leading scorer Charles Atshimene headed home from close range, the coast became even clearer.
Alimi Olalekan turned an Mfon Udoh crossing on his own net in first half stoppage time to double Akwa United’s advantage before Udoh himself made it three in the 62nd minute.
Although Michael Mbonu reduced the arrears from the penalty spot for MFM, Atshimene scored twice in the final five minutes to wrap up a hugely deserved league title for the Promise Keepers.
The trophy was handed out by the Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) Shehu Dikko
The win made it second league win as manager for Akwa United coach Boboye after his triumph with Plateau United in 2017. He also won the league as a player in 2004 with Dolphins FC.
Aside Akwa United’s win on Sunday, the other three matches also ended in home wins with Warri Wolves edging Heartland 1-0 in Ozoro courtesy of in-form Emmanuel Ihezuo’s goal.
Plateau United beat Dakkada 2-0 courtesy of two second half goals from Buhari Ibrahim and Oche Ochowechi while Katsina United were 1-0 winners over Abia Warriors.
Action shifts to other matters in the league with six matches slated to hold with huge ramifications in the upper and lower rung of the ladder.
Nasarawa United vs Rangers
Enyimba vs Sunshine Stars
Kano Pillars vs Wikki Tourists
Rivers United vs Lobi Stars
Jigawa Golden Stars vs FC Ifeanyiubah
Adamawa United vs Kwara United