By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
Akwa United Coach, Deji Ayeni says his team responded to tactics and philosophies to be able to record a resounding 6-1 victory over Nasarawa United in the Matchday 24 of the 2021/2022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) on Thursday.
“Great result for us today. I think the boys are improving on a daily basis.
“When I came on board, there were a lot of things I needed to integrate into the boys, and some of those things were to change their winning mentality and sense of reasoning towards every game.
“I told them the league is a marathon and everybody must be ready to work hard to get himself worked into the team and these have helped to instill a healthy rivalry among the players who in turn are responding according to my trainings, tactics, and philosophies.” The coach told pressmen after the game.
The Solid Miners suffered a devastating 6-1 loss to their hosts, Akwa United, in a rescheduled matchday twenty-four encounter at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, on Thursday evening.
The game began with the visitors making some early attempts – Michael Tochukwu nearly opened scoring but was unlucky as his effort took a diversion off the target in the seventh minute.
The hosts, however, responded with a goal, two minutes later after goalkeeper, Danlami Umar, spilled Bello Babatunde’s freekick toward the path of unmarked Ubong Friday who easily tapped in from close.
While United were trying to recover from that early shocker, the Promise Keepers increased the rally to two in the 17th minute – Adamu Yakubu getting teed up by Bello Babatunde.
Right full-back, Abubakar Abdullahi, almost reduced the deficit but his header off a beautiful pass from Michael Tochukwu went over the bar for a goal-kick.
Michael Tochukwu again freed up King Osanga who rather went for an ambitious strike.
The Solid Miners were 3-0 down in the 22nd minute after Wisdom Fernando was given enough space to breach the defence before sliding home a solo effort.
It was 4-0 two minutes before the half-hour mark as Wisdom Fernando scored his second goal of the evening, getting assisted by Bello Babatunde, with the scoreline staying that way till the break.
Nine minutes into the restart, King Osanga scored from a goal-mouth scramble to put scores at 4-1, and his second goal in two consecutive games for United since joining the club last season.
But Akwa United scored again to restore their four-goal cushion through Bello Babatunde before substitute, Franklin Matib, put matters to rest with a sixth goal in the 80th minute, to subject the Solid Miners to the worst result in their history.
Despite the outrageous outcome of the game today, the Solid Miners remain unmoved on the league table with 29 points, even as Akwa United also remains static on 7th position but with a seven-point gap.
Nasarawa United Coach, Bala Nikyu after the game says it was his team’s worst outing since the season started.
He said: “Well, I can’t say what exactly happened, but no player would get into the field with the intention to perform poorly.
“This is our worst outing since the season started because I never saw this coming, but we hope to overcome this as quickly as possible and set focus on the remaining league games.”
Another Uyo based side, Dakkada FC are the next opponents of Nasarawa United at the Jos International Stadium, Plateau State, on Tuesday, next week.
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