By Promise Etim
Sporting Lagos continued their bright start to their top-flight campaign with a hard-fought goalless draw away to Akwa United in Uyo on Sunday, to move top of the table after Matchday 2.
Basking on the euphoria of their 2-0 triumph to visiting Gombe United, the Lagos-based side named an unchanged side.
Akwa United who sought for redemption following a disappointing 5-3 loss in Yenagoa on Matchday 1, made four changes in their line-up, with the introduction of Badmus Nurudeen, Rilwan Sadiq, Anthony Chukwuebuka and Osoba Kabir.
The visitors had goalkeeper Christian Nwoke to thank for keeping them in tune in the first half. The former FC One Rocket safe-hands denied Rilwan Sadiq within three minutes of the game. At the opposing end, Rivio Ayenrenwe missed a sitter from 10 yards on 15 minutes.
Nwoke, again rose to the occasion in the second half, when he stopped Seyi Oguntayo’s efforts on 63 and 65 minutes. Substitutes Kufre Ebong and Uche Collins also drew saves from the visiting goalkeeper deep into added time.
Worried by the outcome of the game, Akwa United head coach, Fatai Osho, expressed his displeasure on the ability of his front men to convert begging chances.
“Quite a disappointing game for us. We noticed the gaps in the first half and blocked all the links and isolate the opposing players (Sporting) in the second half.
“It was almost a one-sided game, but attackers let us down. The quality in the attack is worrisome and we are going to work on them. We hope for a positive result in our next game against Enyimba”, the former Enyimba handler posited.
Edward Green, assistant coach of Sporting Lagos, said his side will build on the result going forward, attributing the team’s strength to mobility.
The result propels the Lagos-based side to top of the log, while Akwa United slip to 18th place ahead of their trip to Aba, where they face reigning champions, Enyimba FC.
Akwa United are yet to win their first home fixture in five seasons. The last time they defeated an opponent in their first home game was the visit of Rangers International (2-0) in 2018.
Akwa Utd XI: Nurudeen, Ganda, Phillip, Essien, Chukwuebuka, Ndon, Mubarak, Hadi, Sadiq, Osaba
Sporting Lagos XI: Nwoke, Egeonu, Aliu, Nwokeji, Ndedi, Chinedu, Rivio, Chisom, Isaac, Okon, Alukwu
Akwa Utd 0-0 Sporting Lagos
Fouls Won: 14-10
Yellow Cards: 1-2
Red Cards: 0-0