Aiteo Cup defending Champions Akwa United strolled to the Round of 32 of the competition with a resounding 7-0 thrashing of non-league side, Hope of Glory FC of Calabar at the Sharks Stadium in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
Flying Eagles Forward Aniekeme Asuquo scored a hat-trick, while Victor Mbaoma and Ezekiel Bassey scored a brace each to secure a comfortable victory for the Promise Keepers as they march to retain the trophy they won last year.
Coach Abdu Maikaba fielded a star-studded side with Ojo Olorunleke, Etim Mathew, Kodjovi Dadzie Ariwachukwu Emmanuel and Denis Nya in the defense. Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, youngster Ubong Essien and Michael Ibe were deployed in the midfield while Ubong Friday, Victor Mbaoma and Aniekeme Asuquo spearheaded the team’s attack.
Akwa United announced their intentions early into the game and control proceedings throughout the duration of the match. Victor Mbaoma open scoring in the 25th minute when he nodded in Michael Ibe’s return header from Aniekeme Asuquo’s cross from the right. Aniekeme doubled his team’s lead after capitalising from a poor clearance by visitor’s defense to fire into the roof of the net to hand his team a 2-0 lead at the break.
The U-20 star got his second goal of the match in the 53rd minute when his goal bound shot was fumbled into the net by Hope of Glory FC goalkeeper Osondu Vincent for Akwa United’s third. Striker Victor Mbaoma got his second goal of the game and Akwa United’s fourth in the 60th minute. Nine minutes later Aniekeme Asuquo got his hat-trick when he outran two of his markers to tip the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper to score his team’s fifth of the match. Substitute Ezekiel Bassey scored two quick goals in the 80th and 82nd minute assisted by Michael Ibe as the Uyo based team began their title defense with a big win. The Promise Keepers who have won Nigeria’s oldest Cup competition twice in three years will know their next round opponent when the draws are conducted later this week.