Friday’s goal in the 30th minute was all it took Akwa United to continue their rich vein of form as they beat hard fighting Wikki Tourists 1-0 in a Nigeria Professional Football League encounter at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Wednesday.
A cagey encounter with no goalscoring opportunities created in the opening quarter came alive in the 30th minute as Etboy Akpan’s cross into the box was initially miscued by Akarandut Orok but fell nicely for Ubong Friday.
The winger beat his marker before picking his spot to shoot the ball to the far post beyond the reach of the goalkeeper for the opener. Akwa United head coach, Kennedy Boboye made only one change to the team that beat Jigawa Golden Stars 1-0 on Matchday 12 in Kano. Paul Obata took the place of Aniekeme Asuquo in the starting 11.
His counterpart Garba Ibrahim also made a change to his starting 11 that played out a 1-1 draw at home to Katsina United in the last matchday as Ajala Olushola got a starting place ahead Saidu Abdullahi who started the game on the bench.
After the opening 15 minutes Akwa took control of the game but met a resolute Wikki Tourist side that were very determined and organised at the back as they blocked every attack by Akwa. In the 19th minute, a good team build-up by the promise keepers found Orok and Ndifreke with sight at goal but their attempts were blocked. Two minutes later, Ubong Friday’s decision to shoot was the wrong choice as two players were well-positioned that would have scored.
Akarandut should have made it five goals in five consecutive games in the 33rd minute but he ballooned his effort over the bar when an inch-perfect cross from Etboy found him unmarked in the box. Obata also came close in the closing moments of the first half when he connected well with his head but his attempt was weak and bounced off a Wikki player.
He fumbled with the rebound as he was easily dispossessed.
The promise keepers went into the break their one-goal advantage. ALSO READ: Leicester City boss Rodgers issues Ndidi training ground injury update Akwa continued where they left peppering their opponents and almost doubled their lead in the 51st minute when Ubong wasted a very good opportunity as he controls the ball well with his first touch from a cross into the box but his left foot effort lets him down as it goes wide of its target.
With only a win in their last seven games and six points out of a possible 21 points, Wikki could see the game dragging away from them. coach Ibrahim made changes to his playing personnel and they pushed forward in search of something positive.
On the hour mark, Manu Garba forced Akwa goalkeeper Jean Efala to a point plank save after a brilliant team move. The rebound fell to Williams Ukeme but he fired over when it was easier to score. It was wave of attacks from Wikki and they ought to have equalized in the closing moments especially in the 87th minute when Adamu Mohammed was put through on goal and he came one on one with goalkeeper Jean Efala who was gunning for his fourth clean sheet in a row in the box but the onrushing goalkeeper pulled a brave save to keep scores in favour of his team.
Wikki fought hard but Akwa held on to take all three points on offer and climb up the league table to fourth spot with a five-match winning streak.
Infantino Reveals How Nigeria Can Host FIFA Competitions
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino last Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.
Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the MoshoodAbiola National Stadium.
The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well-maintained stadia with good pitches were key to hosting grade A matches.
He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.
“We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.
“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (MoshoodAbiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.
“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football.
“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for the fantastic spectacle that all of the Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.
Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.
Tidesports source reports that the FIFA President, in the company of the minister, had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Statehouse, as part of his engagement.
Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses – Aikhomogbe
Former Nigerian goal keeper, Andrew Aikhomogbe has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to resolve every outstanding salaries and bonuses owed to the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr before the next World Cup qualifiers against Central Africa Republic (CAR).
Aikhomogbe made this known on the backdrop of the football body’s recent deal with Baba Ijebu.
Although the financial details of the deal was not disclosed, Aikhomogbe in an interview with Newsmen from his base in Cairo, Egypt, stated that the NFF should use this platform to offset Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“It’s a big delight to know that the Nigeria Football Federation have signed a deal with Baba Ijebu and this will serve as an opportunity for them to use part of the money to pay Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“There is no better time to motivate him than now before Nigeria’s next 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central Africa Republic (CAR) on October,” he said.
Enyimba Players Vow To Support Finidi
Enyimba FC Goalkeeper, John Noble has stated that the players of the People’s Elephants will be key to the success of the newly appointed coach of the team, Finidi George.
Finidi, signed a two-year deal with Enyimba and oversaw his first full training session with the team on Thursday after a cameo appearance on Wednesday.
Speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, Noble gave his assessment of the coach in his first session under the manager and believes the former Super Eagles winger has what it takes to lead the team to the next level.
He added that the Enyimba players will be the ones to hand Finidi George his success at the club.
- Sports5 days ago
Aisha Buhari Cup: FIFA, CAF Presidents Grace Kick-Off, Falcons Win 2-0
- Sports5 days ago
Youth Basketball Festival Has Discovered Talents – Coach
- Editorial5 days ago
That Desecration Of NDA
- Politics5 days ago
Perspective On NASS 2% Budget Spending
- Niger Delta5 days ago
Jonathan Wants NARD To Suspend Strike
- Rivers5 days ago
KYC Alleges Sabotage Over Trans Kalabari Road
- Niger Delta5 days ago
C’River LG Staff Protest Unpaid Salaries
- Sports5 days ago
Former Kenya’s Minister Pays Fine, Skips Jail