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 Akwa United fc 1-0 Al-Ittihad Penalty (3-2)
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CAF Confederation Cup knock out round|18-mar- 2018|Nest of Champions| scorer: Aniekeme

Akwa United fc are through to the next round of CAF confederation Cup, as goal from Aniekeme make it levels 1-1 on aggregate, before a hat trick penalty save from our no.1 keeper Ojo Olorunleke send us to the next round.

Emotional match

As every European night and other CAF night, this was a match with everything we hoped the match will offer. The Promise Keeper were desperate to cancelled the goal deficit at Spax (1 st leg), Aniekeme scored the much needed goal at the beginning of second half, fans were on their toe throughout the match.

The player, Diego Garzitto(Al-ittihad coach) and the fans all showed their emotions toward winning the match. Everyone at Nest of Champions expressed their emotions, the noise from stand when we scored the first goal and the crowd jubilation when the referee blew the final whistle to confirm our qualification shows what CAF night mean to the club, the players and the fans.

Great performance from Abdu Maikaba's Boyz

As expected, both team were very discipline in the defends, limiting the attacking players from getting into their penalty area often. Our attacking player were far more determine to express themselves in the opponent's half, with Aniekeme and Ubong putting pressure on the Al-ittithad defenders, our wingbacks showed great confidence to join in attack and get back to their defensive duties when the need arises, the midfield players ensure they win second ball and also controlled the tempo of the game, our defends line ensure they win area ball and neatly recovered the ball and build from back allowing the attacking player to find a good positioning to receive the ball.

Even with the pressure from the fans to push the ball forward immediately, the team still ensure they get through with an entertaining game.

The Red Cards

After sending Diego Garzitto(Al-ittihad coach) to the stand at the beginning of second half, for confronting the match officials at the break. Al-ittihad no. 7 was shown the way out from the field of play, for pushing the referee when decision went against him. Another visitor's player was sent off for the same offense during the incident.

The goal finally came

One of our outstanding player of the match and season so far Aniekeme scored the only goal of the match (in an open play) to level things up, the goal came as a result of the team's effort. The performance and the desire of the team was clearly seen throughout the 90 th minute and the penalty shoot-out.

A total of 3 goals were disallowed from the linesmen which was ruled out for an offside, with the linesmen clearly having a good view before making his decisions. With a man down the visitors still looked organized at the back and their target man was constantly using his energy to put pressure on our defenders both in contesting for area balls and pressing up high the pitch. Coach Abdu Maikaba did a good job on the touch line, by constantly sending instructions to the players both on a one on one and as a group which have a great impact on the resilience his team showed throughout the game.

Hat trick penalty saves

If they were to be reward for our hat trick penalty saves from Ojo Olorunleke, as it is to player when they score hat trick in a match, our penalty stopper deserves to go home with a ball to show for his Man of the Match performance tonight.

With visitor's delaying tactics to take the game into a penalty shoot-out, the confidence they showed before the shoot-out and their keeper intimidations. Many would have doubted our keeper to be the Hero of the night, after the first and second shooters send him the wrong way, he was more than determined to prove his worth by stepping out with confidence to save the remaining 3 penalties and send us through to the next round of the CAF Confederation Cup.

More of the same please ....

What we experience this night is not the last, qualification to the next round mean another CAF night will soon come at the Nest of Champions. The players need to embrace the challenge this competition brings, learning to cope with the fans pressure during the game of this magnitude. The pressure from the fans send a message that the fans really value this CAF night experience.

As always in every continental tournament, the higher you progress the harder it gets. A great work is required if we are to survive the next round of this tournament. With what we witnessed tonight, there is a great hope that the Promise Keepers will Keep their words.

Focus swift

With two wins in two in all competitions and qualification in our pocket, our attention returns to the upcoming league match against Heartland fc on 21-mar- 2018

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