Football

Akwa United Emerge Champions Of Nigeria For The FIRST-TIME-EVER (But what do you know about them?)

Akwa United won the 2020-21 Nigeria Professional Football League title after defeating MFM FC 5-2 in their penultimate fixture of the season on Sunday.

Charles Atshimene stood out for the hosts at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium as his hat-trick of goals helped crush the Olukoya Boys. Alimi Adebayo’s own goal and a goal from Mfon Udoh was enough to help Kennedy Boboye’s side lift the trophy with a game to spare.

BUT HERE ARE 10 IMPORTANT POINTS TO NOTE ABOUT THE NEW NIGERIAN CHAMPIONS

  • This would be the Promise Keepers’ first-ever top-flight crown in their 25-year history becoming the 20th Nigerian club to win the first division title. Akwa United was founded in 1996.

  • The 2020/21 league win adds to their trophy cabinet which has two FA Cups (2015 and 2017) and the Nigeria Super Cup (2016).
Akwa United Captain, Otobong Effiong Takes The NPFL Title Towards His Teammates, 2021 | Godswill Akpabio International Stadium (PHOTO: Tobi Adepoju)
  • Akwa United was orignally founded as Ibom Stars Football Club and began their professional campaign in the 1996/1997 Pro League season (the second-tier football league).

  • After an eleven-year stinct in the Pro League (Lower Division), Ibom Stars gained promotion to the Nigeria Premier League in 2007/2008 season. In their first season in the NPL, the team competed as Akwa United FC and played its home matches at Uyo Township Stadium.
Akwa United’s Title Winning Manager, Kennedy Boboye After Guiding The Club To Its First League Title In 25 Years. Boboye Led Plateau United To Their First League Title in 2017 After Its 42-Year Existence (PHOTO: Sulaiman Pooja Adebayo)
  • After finishing their first season in 14th position with 48 points, they got relegated in their second season – 2008-2009 having finished in 17th position, but returned to the Premier League in the 2009/2010 season – they have not gotten relegated since then.

  • In 2015, Akwa United officially left their old home ground – the Uyo Township Stadium and moved to the magnificent 30,000 capacity Godswill Akpabio International Stadium which was built by ex-Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio.
The Godswill Akpabio International Stadium – home ground of Akwa United
  • Also in 2015, they made club history by winning the Federation Cup in November, beating Lobi Stars of Makurdi 2–1 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos – their first major trophy. A feat that qualified them to play in the CAF Confederation Cup – their first ever outing at the continental level. They however got knocked out in the first round by Congolese side Vita Club Mokanda.
Federation Cup Winners, 2015 | Teslim Balogun Stadium
  • Their second FA Cup title (AITEO Cup, renamed from Federation Cup for sponsorship reasons) came in 2017.

  • Their first league win in the 2020/2021 season would be the first time since 2015 a Nigerian clubside (Enyimba) would win the premier league with 70 points or more. It would also be the first time since 1992 a Nigerian league champion (Stationary Stores) would lose only 4 times in a season.
Akwa United Squad 2020-2021 Season (PHOTO: Akwa United)
  • Enroute their title win, Kennedy Boboye’s side set a new NPFL record of 18 consecutive matches unbeaten (10 wins, 8 draws), eclipsing the record of 14 matches previously held by Enyimba. Akwa United’s run ended in a 1-0 defeat to Katsina United in June 2021.
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