A goal in each half by Micheal Ohanu and Sani Abbani helped hosts El-kanemi Warriors to a 2-0 win over ten man Akwa United in a rescheduled Matchday 15 fixture of the 2017/2018 Nigeria Professional Football League at the El-kanemi stadium in Maiduguri on Thursday.
Michael Ohanu scored from the penalty spot 8th minute into the game after referee Jonathan Zachariah adjudged Jamiu Alimi had handle the ball in the box. The player was also booked for the incident.
Moments later, a strong penalty appeal by Akwa United was waved away by the referee after Razak Aliyu appeared to have handled Ezekiel Bassey’s shot inside the box.
As the game progressed, both teams struggled to gain control and find their rhythm on a bumpy pitch as the hosts ended the first half with a 1-0 lead.
A blistering start to the second half saw both teams engaging each other and creating chances but failed to convert them.
The hosts doubled their lead through Sani Abbani who headed in Samuel Mathias’ corner kick.
The Promise Keepers fought back in an attempt to reduce the deficit, but their effort was thwarted in a controversial circumstance. Cyril Olisema found himself in vantage position to score and was about pulling the trigger when one of the ball boys threw another ball onto the field of play. With this, the referee halted play and booked Olisema for complaining about the incident.
Akwa United were reduced to ten men following a second yellow card to Jamiu Alimi. Coach Aliyu Zubairu introduced Paul Obata, Chigozie Chilekwu and Gabriel Okechukwu into the game, but it was Obata who almost made an impact but his three quick attempts were successfully cleared to safety by the hosts defense.
The win moves El-kanemi to 14th on the log while the Promise Keepers remain 7th with 29 points from 20 games albeit with a game in hand, they will next host Go Round of Omoku next week.