Akwa United Football Club of Uyo won the 2016 Charity Cup after beating Enyimba Int’l FC of Aba 4-3 on penalties.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the match, played at the National Stadium Abuja on Wednesday evening, went into penalties after both sides ended play 0-0 at regulation time.
Ifeanyi George and goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai missed their kicks to hand Akwa the trophy.
The teams had shown football artistry in the regulation period but were unable to convert their chances with Enyimba hitting the woodworks three times.
Enyimba failed to capitalise on a one-man advantage after the referee sent off Akwa United’s Yusuf Adio for a rough tackle on Enyimba’s attacker.
The Charity Cup became Akwa’s third trophy of the season, having won the Federation Cup and the Super 4 trophies earlier.
Chinedu Udoji, Enyimba’s Captain told NAN that he created a lot of chances but could not convert them to goals.
“We created a lot of chances but we were not lucky to convert those chances and you know that penalty is anybody’s game.
“In spite of the loss, we have resolved to defend the league title we won; Charity Cup is a tune up match for the new season and I am happy with our performance.
“It is not a do or die affair but I know that this coming season will be a tough one and we must conquer,’’ Udoji said.
Morris Cooreman, Technical Adviser of Akwa United, commended his players for putting up a superlative performance.
He said the victory was a sign of greater things to come in the new Nigeria Professional Football League season which would begin this weekend.
“All my players worked very hard and what I see from my players, the sky is our limit.
“Winning the Charity Cup has boosted our confidence going into the 2015/2016 league season because you lose matches when you don’t have confidence.
“It is this confidence that we will take into the game against Sunshine on Sunday in our first league match of the season,’’ Cooreman said.tweet