Akwa United have been crowned champions of the 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League season after producing a remarkable 5-2 victory over MFM FC in Uyo on matchday 37 in Uyo.
Charles Atshimene capped a fine performance with a hat-trick and improved his goals count to 18 this season. Akwa United confirmed their intention to win the league after recorded the longest unbeaten run of 18 games.
The Promise Keepers have also kept the most-clean sheets this campaign.
This is the first time the Promise Keepers will be winning the NPFL title since the club was established 25 years again. But it is the second time coach Kennedy Boboye will be winning the trophy, he also led Plateau United to win their first league title in 2017.
MFM came to Uyo in fine form after FC Ifeanyi Ubah 0-2 in Enugu in a rescheduled fixture to consolidate their position on the league table. A win over Akwa United in Uyo would have one they will relish but they knew it was an almost impossible task.
23 minutes into the match, man on fire, Charles Atshimene won an aerial battle and sent his header into the back of the net to give the hosts the lead.
With spectators at the Nest of Champions singing, dancing and hailing their team, the Promise Keepers came out in search of more goals. They mounted pressure on the visitors and force in an own goal just before half-time. Samuel Amadi’s effort was sent into the net by Ubukama Peter after good pressure by Charles Atshimene.
When action resumed, Mfon Udoh scored the third goal with a stunning finish after a good work by Ubong Friday. That was Udoh’s 8th goal of the season. But the hopes of keeping a clean sheet were dashed in the 67th minute when the Olukoya Boys were awarded a penalty. Michael Mbonu sent goalkeeper Efala the wrong way and scored.
Akwa United came out for more goals. Substitute, Wisdom Fernando made immediate impact sending in a fine cross for Atshimene to score his second goal of the encounter. MFM pulled one back before the former Warri Wolves striker sealed his hat-trick.
A seven-goal thriller and a maiden league title was quality football experience for spectators at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium who have waiting for this day since 1997.