Akwa United head coach Deji Ayeni has lamented a loss of concentration from his side, after they missed the opportunity to close the gap on Group A leaders Bendel Insurance on Sunday.
Anas Yusuf’s late equalizer for Nasarawa United denied Akwa United all three points as they shared the spoils in a thrilling 2-2 draw on Matchday 13 of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) at the Nest of Champions in Uyo.
The visitors took the lead in the 20th minute through defender Victor Collins from a well struck free kick before Cyril Olisema restored parity just a minute later.
Few minutes after the restart, the Promise Keepers took the lead for the first time when Victor Collins turned Ubong Friday’s low drive into his own net. But substitute Anas Yusuf dived low to head home the equalizer for Nasarawa United in the dying embers of the game and they held on for a valuable point in the race for survival.
— Akwa United FC (@AkwaUnited_fc) April 10, 2023
“We knew it was going to be a tough game against Nasarawa United considering their position on the log,” Ayeni began speaking after the game.
“We prepared well for this game, we had our game plan and we even came back from a goal down to lead 2-1 but I think at a very critical moment, that concentration was not there and the opponents capitalized on that to deny us all three points.
The former Sunshine Stars gaffer also felt his side should have won comfortably but their inability to convert their chances left them with just a point against the relegation battlers.
“It’s not the result we wanted but it’s one of those things in football. It’s a game we should have won comfortably but we missed some very good chances to bury the game.
“At some point in the match I noticed that some of my players had injuries and I decided to replace them, and I think it was the right thing to do. So, I take full responsibility for the outcome of this game. Now we have to go back and plan for the next game”.
With the result, Akwa United stay second in Group A on 23 points from 13 games, four points behind leaders Bendel Insurance. The Uyo based club will next travel to Jos to engage Plateau United.
Matchday 13 Full Results
Bendel Insurance 1-1 Kwara United
Dakkada 1-0 Doma United
Niger Tornadoes 0-0 Rivers United
Akwa United 2-2 Nasarawa United
Sunshine Stars 1-1 Rangers
Lobi Stars 2-0 Abia Warriors
Shooting Stars 1-1 Remo Stars
Wikki 1-2 Bayelsa United
Enyimba 2-1 Plateau United
Gombe United 1-0 El-Kanemi