A goal in each half by striker Christian Pyagbara and midfielder Alhassan Ibrahim helped Akwa United to a 2-1 victory over league leaders Plateau United FC of Joson Sunday at the Godswill Akpabio international stadium in Uyo.
The win was Akwa United’s second league victory of the season after beating Remo Stars in their last home match.
With two wins, three draws and three loses in the opening eight matches of the season, the Promise Keepers have moved up to 14th position on the table with 9 points.
The 2-1 defeat brought an end to Plateau United’s unbeaten run in the 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League NPFL season. Having previously won five and drawn two matches before losing to Akwa United in Uyo.
The 2015 Federation Cup champions began the match like a house on fire, tormenting their opponent’s defence and the pressure paid off sixth minutes into the game when Moses Ebiye’s well tailored pass met an unmarked Christian Pyagbara who rounded Plateau United’s goalkeeper John Gaddi to put the home side ahead and send the home fans to cloud nine.
After the goal the home team controlled the game but Plateau United had other ideas and almost made their host pay when they resorted to long throws which caused lots of panic in the box.
The league leaders came close to equalizing in the 19th minutes, Anayo Ogbonna was one-on-one with Emmanuel Iwu in Akwa United’s goal but an excellent clearance by Emmanuel Ariwachukwu was applauded by the fans.
The defender picked up an injury and was substituted in the 31th minutes by Benin Republic international Counou Paterne.
More pressure from the visitors nearly got them the equaliser a minute before half time but defender Paterne and goalkeeper Iwu made two brilliant saves in the space of one minute to deny their visitors and maintain their lead at half time.
Coach Abdul Maikaba’s boys started the second half with the same intensity they started the first and five minutes into the second half, Musa Newman set up Alhassan Ibrahim who unleased a superb strike outside the box to beat John Gaddi and doubled the lead for the host.
Moments later Aremu Afeez, Moses Ebiye, Christian Pyagbara and Alhassan Ibrahim all missed good chances to put the match beyond their visitors.
Plateau United reduced the deficit on the hour mark through substitute striker Chima Ndukwe but they couldn’t do more in the final moments of the match as Akwa United held on to win their second match of the campaign and maintained their superiority over Plateau United who have lost two and drawn one in their previous three meeting with the Promise Keepers.
Akwa United will next travel to Gombe to face Gombe United on match day nine this weekend.
All the results from other centres in Match Day 8 of the Nigeria Professional Football League:
|Lobi Stars||0 – 0||Katsina|
|Niger||1 – 0||Enyimba|
|Akwa FC||2 – 1||Plateau|
|El-Kanemi||3 – 0||Gombe|
|Nasarawa||3 – 1||Abia|
|Sunshine||2 – 2||ABS|
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