Akwa United chairman, Paul Bassey, has attributed the success of his side in the CAF Confederation Cup to ‘God’, according to an aclsports.com source in Uyo.
Bassey revealed this and more after Akwa arrived back in the country on Saturday following a successful outing in Gambia.
The Promise Keepers, trailing 2-1 on aggregate after that loss in Uyo in the first leg, completed a remarkable comeback to beat Banjul Hawks 2-0 in the second leg in Gambia, for a 3-2 aggregate win in the First round.
— Akwa United FC (@AkwaUnited_fc) February 22, 2018
The win ensured Abdu Maikaba’s side qualified for the next phase of the competition, where they will take on Libyan side, Al-Ittihad.
Speaking on arrival, Bassey, who could hardly hide his excitement, said ‘God’ made the difference for the club.
“I have had a lot of years in football, what I witnessed in Uyo and Banjul is something extraordinary,” Bassey said. “That is why I kept on saying it is God. We did our best in Uyo but it was not good enough, we went out to Banjul to make the difference and God helped.”
On their next opponents in the CAF CC, Bassey gave an hint of how the team is preparing for the Libyans.
“We have heard about Al-Ittihad, we are making efforts to get some information on them. The good thing about it is that, they are playing in Tunisia, we have learnt our lessons and we are ready to take advantage of it.”
Akwa are set for a busy next two weeks, as they will not return to Uyo until the second week of March due to outstanding matches in the NPFL and their Cup tie against Al-Ittihad.
On the team’s the itinerary, the Chairman added that the team will head straight to Markudi before connecting Katsina.
“We have a rescheduled match on Wednesday against Lobi Stars, the boys will take off from Lagos to Markudi,” he added. “They leave Markudi to Katsina for match day 11 fixture against Katsina United on the 4th of March after that, they step out of the country.
— League Management NG (@LMCNPFL) February 26, 2018
“So, coming back to Uyo is nearly impossible although some boys will join them at Markudi from Uyo for the Midweek game. We will be back after the game in Tunisia on the 9th of March. “
Bassey, who also doubles as the Special Assistant on Sports to the Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Deacon Udom Emmanuel, also used the opportunity to thank His Excellency, the Commissioner of Youth and Sports, Sir Monday Ebong Uko, Akwa United Supporters and the Media for the Support shown to the team.
“I thank my Governor, commissioner, and the media for staying behind the team,” he added. “I also want to thank Akwa United supporters- one of the greatest thing that happened to me was on the day we lost and the players were given a clapping ovation- it lifted us.
“We were appreciated and we went to Gambia to play for them. I want to thank them that we will not disappoint them.”
Akwa are currently third on the NPFL, a point behind leaders, Kano Pillars, and second placed Enyimba, albeit the Promise Keepers have two games in hand.
Additional report by Itua Favour.