Two superb goals, one in each half reinforced Akwa United’s survival bid as they dispelled visiting Nasarawa United 2-0 at the Nest of Champions, Uyo, in the Glo Premier League’s first Friday Night game, npfl.ng reports.
Aniekpeno Udoh got the opener at 35 minutes and after a sustained period of dominance by the visitors, Yusuf Adio floated home a brilliant second ending the game as a contest.
But it was far away from an easy affair. With the League season gradually winding to a close, Akwa United had found themselves dangerously flirting around the drop zone and anything less than three points in this tie would make surviving the drop near impossible. The day’s opponents Nasarawa United had a score to settle with the Promise keepers who knocked them out of the Federation Cup two months ago.
Akwa was quickly off the blocks in the opening seconds of the game as Awakan’s cross found Ubong Friday in the visitors area, but under pressure from the visitors he was unable to make the right contact with the ball. Chances were few in the minutes that followed before Aniekpeno Udoh put the home side ahead in the 36th minute. The visiting defenders left him unmarked and from an Ukeme Davies corner-kick, the youngster glanced his header into the roof of the net.
His could have gotten his second, Aniekpeno had he steadied himself better in the box following a quick transition by the Akwa wide men. Visiting goalkeeper Umar was off his line for a ball but Ubong beat him and cut back for Aniekpeno Udoh but the striker fired wide.
The visitors however got better after the interval, pegging Akwa United back in their own half and their passing sometimes so crisp and precise that the home team were left chasing shadows.
The tension from both team and fans almost palpable as the visitors piled the pressure. Igbinoba fired a free-kick over the wall and into the arms of Femi Kayode while Philip Azango’s ball across the face of goal eluded every white shirt in the box.
That miss was costly because five minutes afterward Akwa United got their second. The visitors conceded a free-kick just outside the area and Yusuf Adio stepped up and fired a brilliant kick above the wall and beyond goalkeeper Umar to send the crowd on its feet. It was that sort of goal reserved for a very special occasion.
The manner of the celebration at full time, gave a picture of how much this victory meant to the beleaguered club who have with this victory leaped above and off the relegation zone at least for the time being.