By Mfon Patrick
Akwa United Football Club continued their impressive run of form in the Nigeria Professional Football League and extended their unbeaten run to nine matches following a 1-1 draw with Jigawa Golden Stars at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna in a reschduled NPFL Match-day 15 game, as they move to within two points of joint-leaders Kwara United and Kano Pillars.
Mid-season signing Nasiru Jibril came off the bench to score a superb goal in the 89th minute and just when it looked like Akwa United will secure maximum points, referee Tivkor Thomas adjudged that Ubong Friday had handled the ball in the box and awarded a penalty to the home team in stoppage time.
Jigawa Golden Stars’ striker Samuel Stone converted the spot kick to earn his side a point as both teams ended the game on level terms.
With the result, the Promise Keepers consolidate their position in the top three places on the log after accumulating 34 points from 19 matches and will head into the mid-season break in third place.
Coach Boboye began the game with a familiar line-up. Goalkeeper Adewale Adeyinka made his 14th consecutive start in goal for his side. Etim Mathew, Sampson Gbadebo
Olisa Ndah and David Philip made up the back-line.
Dare Ojo, Ubong Essien, Ubong Friday and Seth Mayi started in the mid-field while Ndifreke Effiong and Ikechukwu Nwani led the team’s attacking-line.
Coach Kennedy Boboye’s team once again proved their mettle with a good performance and after a goalless first half, the game sparked into life in the second half as they put up a spectacular performance against their hosts.
With a minute before the end of the regulation time, striker Ndifreke Effiong controlled a long ball and cleverly back-heeled it to Nasiru Jibril who finished it beautifully to give his team a deserve lead with his first goal for club. Moment later, the home team levelled the scores through striker Samuel Stone who converted a penalty kick.
After playing ten away games in the first stanza of the league, Akwa United have accumulated eleven points on the road comprising two wins, five draws and three loses.
The two-time Federation Cup Champions have embarked on one week mid-season break beginning from Monday 12th to Sunday 18 April 2021.
They will engage Sunshine Stars of Akure at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on the 28th April, 2021 when the second stanza of the season resumes.