Akwa United maintained their impressive away run in the 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League on Thursday with an entertaining 1-1 draw against neighbours Abia Warriors on Matchday 9 at the Umuahia Township stadium.
Mfon Udoh’s 33rd minute strike cancelled out Chinedu Ozor’s opener for the host and rescued a crucial point for the Promise keepers which helped them remain 4th on the NPFL Group B table with 12 points.
In their last four away games, Akwa United have recorded one win and two draws with one defeat and the 1-1 draw in Umuahia extended their unbeaten run against Abia warriors to five games in the last three seasons.
Coach Rafael Everton made four changes to the team that defeated Kada City in Uyo – Blaise Adou, Kodjovi Dadzie, Etboy Akpan and Ocheme Edoh replaced Wilson Elu, Juwon Oshaniwa, Ubong Friday and Ndifreke Effiong in the team.
A minute silence was observed at the Umuahia Township stadium before kickoff in honour of Late Ex-International and Former Nigeria Football Federation Secretary General Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi who died on Monday.
The game sparked into life in the early moments and the hosts had their first attempt at goal in the 7th minute. Goalkeeper Jean Efala dived low and scramble away Mark Daniel’s effort before Christopher Lolo recovered well to clear the ball to safety.
Abia Warriors took the lead in the 28th minute through Chinedu Ozor who blasted a lose ball into the net from a well delivered corner – the first goal that the Promise Keepers conceded in four matches.
The Promise Keepers responded swiftly five minutes later. Top scorer Mfon Udoh calmly controlled Christopher Lolo’s long ball inside the box and superbly slot it into the bottom corner for his 5th goal of the season.
The home side stepped up their game in the second half and heaped pressure on the visitors but they were kept at bay by a well disciplined defense marshalled by Denis Nya, Adou Blaise, Etim Mathew and Kodjovi Dadzie.
Coach Rafael Everton made tactical substitutions and introduced Juwon Oshaniwa, Wisdom Fernando and Ubong Essien into the game towards the end but their contributions were not enough to change the scoreline as both sides settle for a 1-1 draw.
The Uyo based side will next travel to Gombe for outstanding Matchday 2 fixture against Gombe United next weekend.