The concluding fixtures of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matchday 24 were played across different stadia in the country on Thursday.
Four home victories, including that of Akwa United, and an away win saw 15 goals scored from the five games played.
Coach Ayodeji Ayeni was unarguably the star of the day as he made history with Akwa United by leading them to one of their biggest victories ever in the NPFL.
Since joining the Uyo-based side last month, Ayeni has been propelling the Promise Keepers to better results compared to what was obtained before his arrival.
This time around, Akwa United picked not only the maximum points at Uyo, but they also did it stunningly as they hammered Nasarawa United 6-1 at the Nest of Champions.
It was the first time the Uyo-based side scored more than four goals this season.
Four goals in the first half and two goals in the second half were enough for Akwa United to silence critics at the Nest of Champions.
The goals galore began when a rebound from a free-kick by Babatunde Bello was pounced on by Ubong Friday in the ninth minute. The serious-minded Akwa United didn’t wait too long before Adam Yakubu doubled the lead with a converted pass from Babatunde Bello in the 17th minute.
Wisdom Fenando’s brace came shortly in the 22nd and 29th minutes as the hosts coasted away with a four-goal advantage at halftime.
Akwa United continued from where they stopped in the second half, even though it was the Solid Miners who scored first through Moses Osanga in the 55th minute.
Two minutes later, Babatunde Bello, who was very impressive throughout the first half, recorded the League’s 450th of the season.
Franklin Matib completed the rout with a finish to Leo Ezekiel’s through ball in the 82nd minute.
Akwa United’s victory pulled the promise keepers to the seventh position with 36 points behind Sunshine Stars.
Elsewhere, as Akwa United was routing Nasarawa in Uyo, Sunshine Stars was busy halting Rivers United’s unbeaten streak in Akure.
Leonard Ugochukwu’s fourth-minute strike was enough to seal a crucial home victory for Emmanuel Deutsch’s side.
Sunshine Stars maintain their sixth position with 36 points, while Rivers United keeps the first spot with 52 points.
A chance for Plateau United to reduce the four-point lead by Rivers suffered a setback as Fidelis Ilechukwu’s team lost 1-0 to his former employers Heartland in Owerri.
Ilechukwu, who defeated his former club, MFM, over the weekend, couldn’t replicate the same feat against Heartland, who are battling relegation.
Nwaodu Chukwudi’s goal in the 16th minute condemned Plateau to their first defeat after four games.
Heartland moved to the 18th position with 24points to keep their hopes of escaping relegation alive.
Like Akwa United, like Enyimba
At Aba, Enyimba added to the woes of 10-man Kano Pillars with a 4-0 victory to send the visitors to the 19th position on the table.
Victor Mbaoma put the People’s Elephant in front with his brace in the 31st and 64th minute, respectively.
The two goals lead wasn’t enough for Finidi George’s men as they pushed for more goals with Emeka Obioma’s strike in the 74th minute.
Just as the game entered stoppage time, Emmanuel Godwin made it four to keep Enyimba in the eighth position with 35 points.
Kano Pillars didn’t only return to Kano with a four-goal deficit, they also picked a red card when Joshua Enaholo was booked for dissent.
Kabiru Dogo’s Wikki Tourists’ visit to Lagos ended with joy as the Northerners trounced the Olukoya Boys two-nil at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
A second-minute goal from Abubakar Ibrahim and a late-minute goal from Solomon Chigoziem broke the necks of the Lagos-based team as they dropped back to the 20th position.
Enyimba 4-0 Kano Pillars
Sunshine Stars 1-0 Rivers United
MFM 0-2 Wikki Tourists
Heartland 1-0 Plateau United
Akwa United 6-1 Nasarawa United