Akwa United kick started their CAF Champions League journey with a one goal to nil victory over Champions of the Algerian leeague, Chabab Riadhi de Belouizdad at the Nest of Champions on Sunday September 12, 2021.
The Promise Keepers with their newly signed players started the game on the high side with loads of balls thrown at their defense in a bid to get early goals and unsettle their opponents. The home side despite all their push for goals were not precise, throwing aimless passes and sbots in the final third.
The Reds and Whites charged the home side with some attacks in quick succession, but the backline led by Samson Gbadebo were always on alert to wade off any attacks from the treaky opponents.
Akwa United resumed the second half a stronger side mounting pressures on their opponents who were becoming more conservative. Ubong Friday and Dare Ojo in succession had opportunities to put their team ahead, but to the disappointment of their fans, they fluffed their chances.
The Algerians resorted to playing deeper than they did in the first half and continued to frustrate all efforts and plans of Boboye’s boys.
The coach introduced Onovo and Samuel Amadi to beef up his attack and help out Wasiu Alalade upfront. Orok and Adamu also came on four minutes later, this time, new import, Wasiu Alalade was subbed off.
Tiredness began to set in for the Chabbab, though they were intact with their game plan and remained superior to Akwa technically. As the clock ticked down, the promise keepers kept on pushing for a goal to fulfill their promise of maximum three points to their fans; captain of the side, Ubong Friday danced along, but for his team as he found his way into the box to hit the roof of the net and send the already looking sad fans into roaring jubilation.
Akwa United were all smiles as they picked maximum points in the first Champions league match of the club’s history and as well sends message across to their opponents, their readiness for the champions league.
Speaking after the match, chairman of the club, Elder Paul Bassey said that it hasn’t been too easy for the team to start life in the apex football league of Africa.
“We had a little time to get our boys registered and they couldn’t blend well as a team ahead of this game”
“I’m happy the Algerians are going back home thinking that they had a good result, but our boys will come good at the second leg”
In another match of Nigeria interest, Rivers United went away to Young Africans of Tanzania and picked the maximum three points, courtesy of Moses Omodumuke’s 51st minute goal, to give them a better advantage over their opponents and put them in a good position to advance to the next round of the competition.
Ayoola Adeleke reported LIVE from Uyo
Photo credit: Adeniyi Muyiwa