Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) record goal scorer, Mfon Udoh saved his side, Akwa United, the blushed when his equaliser secured a point for the Uyo side at the Warri City Stadium on Sunday against returnees, Warri Wolves on the opening day of the NPFL 2019/20 season.
It was Samuel Amadi who set the ball rolling with his quick-fire goal on the 2nd minute of the encounter. But Udoh whose 23 goals in 2014/15 is yet to be equalled restored parity 26 minutes later to ensure that both sides shared the spoils.
Udoh had also ended last season as joint top scorer with Ibrahim Sunusi of Nasarawa United.
Although the draw means Warri Wolves are now unbeaten in their six NPFL meetings against Akwa United, the latter will be more appreciative of the away point secured. May 7, 2014 was the last time the Promise Keepers tasted victory against the Seasiders in the NPFL, with the game ending 2-0 in Uyo.
Riding on the wave of this piece of history, the home side took advantage of a confused Akwa United defence to take the lead inside two minutes, with Amadi, who is playing his first ever game in the NPFL, scoring the first goal of the season off a pass from Victory Omadiegbe.
Soon after, Amadi was on the hunt for a second. But after a fine run down the right flank, his effort could only force Akwa United goalkeeper Adewale Adeyinka to a finger-tip save.
Of the 15 new players Akwa United unveiled last Monday, seven featured in the draw against Warri Wolves, including Adeyinka, who was signed from Gombe United.
When the visitors began to settle in their strides, Udoh rattled the crossbar with a shot from 25 yards out in the 10th minute while Samuel Mathias’ freekick was tipped over the bar by Ocheayi Francis, who stood in between the sticks for the home side.
Then a fantastic team build-up by Coach John Obuh’s side culminated in Udoh tapping in Paul Obata’s cross for the equalizer on the 28th minute. The first half of the encounter ended 1-1.
Then Warri Wolves’ goalscorer Amadi, who twisted his ankle while trying to take a corner kick in the 64th minute, had to give way for Ridwan Agbarinka in the 72nd minute. The latter stage of the encounter presented a late rush for a winner by both teams but to no avail.
Warri Wolves will travel to Akure for a date with Sunshine Stars on Matchday 2, while Akwa United take on Abia Warriors.
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