Akwa United safe maiden NPFL title after thrashing MFM

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The Promise Keepers thrilled their fans in Uyo on Sunday with an emphatic victory

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

Charles Atshimene stood out for the hosts at Godswill Akpabio Stadium when his goalscoring hat trick helped beat the Olukoya Boys, who have been winless in their last eight away games.

Atshimene scored the goal in the 24th minute, followed by an Alimi Adebayo own goal at halftime, which put Kennedy Boboye’s side two goals ahead at half-time.

Akwa United continued their goal game after the restart when Mfon Udoh scored the 3-0 in the 62nd minute.

Six minutes later, MFM reduced the deficit with Michael Mbonu’s shot from the penalty spot, but it wasn’t enough when Atshimene scored his second goal in the 87th minute.

The Olukoya Boys reacted immediately with their second goal in the encounter of Dennis Obasi in the 91st minute to make it 4-2.

The goal was not over when Atshimene restored the three-goal lead and completed the victory for the Promise Keepers with his hat-trick in the 97th minute.

The thrilling encounter sealed Akwa United’s position at the top of the NPFL table with 71 points after 37 games – nine points ahead of runner-up Nasarawa United, who will face the Enugu Rangers on Monday.

The triumph secured the Promise Keepers first top division crown in their 25-year history and was added to their trophy cabinet, which includes two FA Cups (2015 and 2017) and the Nigeria Super Cup (2016).

Personally, Sunday’s exploits have stretched Atshimene’s record to 18 league goals this season, and he is tied for the Golden Shoe with Nasarawa United’s Silas Nwankwo.

Boboye, who joined Akwa United in December 2019, has now won two NPFL titles after his first fame with Plateau United in the 2016-17 season.

Akwa United will hope to extend their unbeaten streak of nine games and also end the 2020-21 campaign with a win when they visit Lobi Stars on Thursday.