Akwa United’s dream of lifting the Nigeria Professional Football League title for the first time in their 24 year-old history is fast becoming a reality following their resounding 3-0 victory over struggling Warri Wolves on match-day 34 of the season at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Wednesday.
Two goals by talisman and former Warri Wolves striker Charles Atshimene in both halves and Ubong Friday’s spectacular strike, sealed a comprehensive victory for the Promise Keepers and helped them open a six-point gap at the summit of the log with four matches left to play before the end of the season.
With 64 points from 34 games and six points above joint second-placed teams Nasarawa United and Kano Pillars, the two-time Federation Cup Champions are within touching distance from clinching their first league title.
After picking a vital point in Port Harcourt on match-day 33, Coach Kennedy Boboye made just two changes to the team that started the game against Rivers United on Sunday. Attacking midfielder Seth Mayi and striker Ikechukwu Nwani were preferred to start ahead of Adam Yakubu and Ubong Essien.
The home side hit the ground running early on and forced their visitors into conceding an early penalty when Warri Wolves defender used his hand to block Ikechukwu Nwani’s goal-bound effort inside the box.
The referee spotted the hand-ball incident and pointed to the spot. Striker Charles Atshimene stepped up and dispatched it beautifully to give his team the lead with his 13th goal of the season.
Akwa United almost doubled their lead in the 24th minute but Samuel Amadi failed to direct his effort at goal after being put through by Nwani.
Two minutes later, Amadi redeemed himself with a brilliant display, he managed to stay on his feet and cut through a crowded Wolves defence before putting it in a plate for the captain Ubong Friday, who curled home a delightful ball to increase