Akwa United were held to a goalless draw on Monday by neighbours Dakkada FC in matchday 1 of the 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, at the Godwill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.
Coach Kennedy Boboye started with four new players, defender Uche Okafor, midfielders Seth Mayi and Ukeme Williams while Ikechukwu Nwani started in attack alongside Mfon Udoh who just returned to the club from FC Tulsa.
The Promise Keepers had opportunities early on in the first half with Mayi coming close to opening his account for the club, but failed to hit the target on three occasions.
Dakkada FC went close with their only shot after Muritala Lawal beat Kodjo Dazie to a shot which was well saved by goalkeeper Jean Efala.
The second half started with the introduction of Ubong Friday for Uche Nwani and Ndifreke Effiong for Ukeme Williams as Akwa United went searching for a goal. Mayi, Ubong Effiong, Ndifreke Effiong went close, but it was defender Sampson Gbadebo who had the team’s only shot on target.
Dakkada FC had the best opportunity of the match. Christian Ekong had a freekick on the edge of the box, but his well taken freekick late in the game hit outside of the woodwork for a goal kick.
Elsewhere at Dikko Stadium, host Katsina United came from behind twice to snatch a late victory against Heartland in an entertaining encounter. Heartland FC took the lead in the second minute through Bright Onyedikachi but Boubacar Masally grabbed the equalizer for the host in the 44th minute just before half time.
Samuel Nnoshiri restored Heartland’s lead in the 81st minute, which almost secure an away victory for the visitors but United scored two late goals through Masally in the 88th minutes and substitute Samuel Kalu secured all three points for the host in the 92nd minute to make it 3-2.
Akwa United will travel to the Cathedral to face Enugu Rangers who will play on Wednesday against Rivers United while Dakkada FC will face Jigawa Golden Stars at the Nest of Champions. Katsina United will travel to the Sani Abacha Stadium to play Kano Pillars on Sunday and Heartland will return home to face Nasarawa United, all of which the matches will be played on Sunday, January 3, 2021.
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