Date: Thursday, July 1, 2021.
Venue: Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.
Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Uyo.
Dakkada will be in search of a first top flight victory over Kwara United when both sides face off in the first of an NPFL Thursday double-header at Godswill Akpabio stadium, Uyo.
Kwara United capitalized on Dakkada’s early season defensive frailties and hit them for three in the reverse fixture but that came before Coach Umar Danlami corrected that particular ill and went ahead to carve a niche for his side as one of the best defensive units of the division. Since losing to Akwa United, no team has scored more than once against Dakkada eight games on the trot.
The arithmetic now is pretty straightforward; a win for either side upends the fortunes of the other. Dakkada’s two recent away wins at Warri Wolves and Abia Warriors have had such huge impact that should they collect a win tomorrow they will be, all in a trice, propelled from the battle for survival right into the conversation for continental places and almost automatically take Kwara United out of it.
A win for Dakkada in this contest rewrites the story of their season by taking them into the top half of the classification and within six points of Kwara United who may then drop as further down the standings as seventh place thereby rendering as irrelevant all the sedulous effort they have so far sunk into the season to get to where they are now especially given what lies ahead.
A peep into Kwara United’s upcoming fixtures makes for a terrifying viewing. Tomorrow’s schedule is one of four away matches embedded in the next five outings for the Harmony Boys including a string of three consecutive trips to Enyimba, Abia Warriors and Warri Wolves in that order. This gives an indication as to what attitude the visitors are likely to approach proceedings in Uyo.
The feel-good factor at the camps of both Dakkada and Kwara United is unadulterated at the moment stemmed from the ability of both sides to successfully complete the double over their last weekend’s opponents.
Leading scorer Isaac George, who is currently oozing vast levels of confidence, scored a contender for the goal-of-the-season award when he ferociously punted an absolute screamer on the half-turn and on the volley from just outside the box into the back of Vincent Edafe’s goal leaving the goalkeeper utterly helpless, flat-footed and statuesque as the ball sailed in seamlessly to extend Abia Warriors’ fruitless wait for a first elite division win over Dakkada and gifted his side a priceless win on away turf. That win follows a 2-1 reverse fixture victory on match day nine in Uyo and almost completely extinguishes any lingering relegation worries for Dakkada.
Kwara United recorded a first home win since 2012 over regional neighbours Sunshine Stars by following up a first leg 2-1 away win with a 1-0 home win last Sunday to put themselves four points adrift of the summit of the standings with a game in hand.
Kwara United, who arrive Uyo after enduring a journey of almost twenty hours on bad roads, will be missing the services of both defender Muritala Lawal and leading scorer Steven Jude both of whom are on international duty with Nigeria’s super eagles as well as defensive midfielder Nosir Afeez who is suspended due to the accumulation of five yellow cards but that is not expected to take the shine off what promises to be an engrossing football spectacle in Uyo.
If they make the cut to be included in the traveling party, Kwara United’s trio of Michael Ohanu, Adeshina Gata and goalkeeper Emmanuel Iwu who had spells at Akwa United in the yesteryear as well as midfielder Chinedu Ufere who was once on the employ of Ibom Youth, will be returning to familiar territory.
On the balance of current form, verve, zest and the extra period of rest enjoyed, this fixture tilt