By Mfon Patrick
Ubong Friday’s header and Ifeanyi Ogba’s spectacular strike on either side of Aliyu Musa’s goal earned Akwa United a historic victory over Katsina United in a friendly match played as part of activities to officially commission the new Eket Stadium.
The stadium constructed by Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration is an all-covered 18,000 seating capacity complex with the most modern artificial turf. It was officially inaugurated by the Governor of Niger State Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello in the presence of the Governor of Oyo State Seyi Makinde, former Governor of Katsina State Alhaji Ibrahim Shema and other top government officials from Akwa Ibom State on Friday 30th September 2022.
The match kicked off under the beautiful rays of floodlights and after a goalless first half, Akwa United captain Ubong Friday missed a glorious chance to give his team the lead when he had his penalty saved early into the second half after the referee awarded the home side a penalty following a foul on Ugochuckwu Leonard inside Katsina United’s penalty box.
Moments later, Friday redeemed himself and made history becoming the first player to score a goal at the new Eket Stadium. The captain met James Ajako’s curling freekick at the back post and directed the ball beyond the goalkeeper and into the net much to the delight of the fans.
However, two minutes after Akwa United’s goal, Aliyu Musa equalized for Katsina United when he benefitted from a mix-up in the box and guided the ball beyond Godsgift Elkanah.
New signing Ifeanyi Ogba announced himself to the Promise Keepers’ fans in a unique way. Ogba received a precise pass and beautifully went past his markers before unleashing a sweet low drive into the bottom right corner of the post to seal a memorable victory for coach Ayodeji Ayeni’s team.
Both teams were presented with trophies to bring the grand opening of the new stadium to a colourful end in Eket.