Victor Mbaoma kept on with his scoring form as his added time equaliser earned Enyimba a 1-1 draw against Akwa United in Uyo on Sunday evening.
The flaming forward headed in from close range to level up for his side after falling behind to Babatunde Bello’s low freekick late in the first half.
Only one point separate Akwa United and Enyimba on the standing heading into the fixture but nothing could separate the sides on the field as they went toe-to-toe against each other from the get go.
Babatunde Bello threatened with a low freekick from thirty-five yards in the second minute before Samuel Kalu headed tamely from close range in a quick response from the Finidi George’s charges.
That end-to-end style was sustained all through the the half as Cyril Olisema forced a timely save from Adewale Adeyinka while Djeri Bassa spread himself wide to brilliantly deny Ubong Friday in another swift switch of attacks.
Akwa took the lead five minutes to the interval when Bello Babatunde succeeded with his fourth freekick attempt – a low drive that took a deflection before ending up in Bassa’s bottom right.
Cyril Olisema was central to Enyimba’s press to get back level and the midfielder’s bullet from outside the box was only averted by Adeyinka’s brilliance.
Mbaoma spurned a clear chance with ten minutes left as he aimed at the top corner after being played through with a neatly-strawn team move, while at the other end, Wisdom Fernando almost doubled the score for the hosts but watched his effort bounce off the upright.
The game was ultimately decided in the first minute of added time as late substitute Godwin Emmanuel set up Mbaoma to equalise with a simple header from shot range.
There was still time for a late drama as Mbaoma tapped in again from close range but his goal, this time, was flagged off.
FINIDI’S POST MATCH COMMENTS
“It was a well-deserved point. I think in the first half we would have scored even before they got their goal but that didn’t happen. The second half was kind of 50-50. We had better spells so at the end of the day we got that equaliser.
“We could have won the match but it didn’t happen. We have just that one point which we are happy after a very long time. We have to go with that and improve in our next game.
“I must commend the boys. They kept pushing, they kept fighting even if they knew it was a very difficult one. They kept pushing and we got that goal. They didn’t relent in their effort. They wanted more and we would have gotten the second goal but it was disallowed. Actually, we scored but it was disallowed. So we will take this one point and build on it.”