Akwa United football club of Uyo yesterday secured their second away point of the 2016/2017 NPFL season after forcing their host Gombe United to a goalless draw at the Pantami stadium in one of the Match Day 9 fixtures.
Coach Abdul Maikaba’s boys who on Match Day 5 played out a 1-1 draw with Katsina United away from home are currently occupying 12th position on the league table with ten points from the opening 9 matches of the season.
The Promise Keepers who halted Plateau United’s unbeaten start to the season, arrived in Gombe full of confidence and with the expectation of recording their first away win of the season against a team who were well beaten in their March Day 8 encounter by El Kanemi Warriors.
Coach Abdul Maikaba made four changes to the team that beat Plateau United in Uyo on Match Day 8.
Goalkeeper Ishmaila Shagari was handed his first start for the Promise Keepers replacing Emmanuel Iwu between the sticks, Benin Republic international Paterne Counou paired with Godspower Igudia in the heart of the defence.
Ubong Friday started from the right side of the attack taking the place of Moses Ebiye while Gideon Julius made his first start of the season.
The match started with both teams struggling to find their rhythm but as the game progressed it was the home team that had the first real chance at goal but their effort was not enough to troubled goalkeeper Shagari who was in goal for Akwa United.
The Uyo based club showed understanding in their ball play and created some chances but were unable to adequately utilized their chances.
Much was expected from Ubong Friday after his return from injury but the player was only able to put up an average performance before being substituted in the second half.
On the other end, the host had four clear cut opportunities in the match to score but goalkeeper Ishmailia Shagari
was in his element and made some breathtaking saves to deny the home side.
Akwa United had a golden opportunity to snatch what could have been the winning goal deep into stoppage time but Musa Newman’s effort was saved by Gombe United’s goalkeeper Emmanuel Fabiyi.
The 2015 Federation Cup champions will be hoping to build on their spirited performance against Gombe United when they battle neighbours Abia Warriors at the Godswill Akpabio International stadium in Uyo on Match Day 10.