… Battles Ibom Youth FC in the Semis on Thursday
The 2017 Akwa Ibom state FA Cup enters its semifinal stage with four teams getting ready to struggle for the two available tickets for the finals and also for the slot to represent the state in the Federation Cup later in the year.
Twelve teams registered for this year’s FA Cup with eight clubs already eliminated and the remaining four ready to battle it out for the state’s biggest football trophy this weekend.
The four semifinalists are seven time champions and the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) campaigners Akwa United, Nigeria National League Club and two time winners of the tournament Akwa Starlets, Nationwide League Club Ibom Youth FC and Non-League side Hills FC of Uyo.
In the first semifinal match scheduled for Thursday at the training pitch of the Godswill Akpabio International stadium, tournament favourites Akwa United will engage Ibom Youth FC on Thursday while Hill FC will square up against Akwa Starlets at the same venue on Friday at 4pm.
The two semifinal winners will face each other on Sunday in the final to decide the champion of this year’s competition.
Meanwhile, NPFL Highflyers Akwa United who are on a mid season break will be fresh and focused going into their game with Ibom Youth FC on Thursday.
Coach Abdu Maikaba may also want to give opportunity to some fringe players in his squad to have a taste of real action.
Players like goalkeeper Daniel Emmanson, Ekemini Ukoebe, Samuel Okon, Meteng Tchakunte and Micheal Ibeh are yet to feature for the club in the league this season while Ubong Idio, Franklyn Ekong, Nura Usman and Gideon Julius have not had enough playing time to fully express themselves.
If selected, the players will welcome the chance and may wish to impress the Coach in the match against Ibom Youth FC.
Coach Maikaba will be hoping to capture his first trophy for the Promise Keepers, while also targeting the NPFL title when the second stanza of the league season resume later this month.