Akwa United were luckier than Al Itiihad of Libya in the lottery of the penalty shootout and that was why they progressed to the CAF Confederation Cup playoffs according to the undisputed hero of the Nigerian club, goalkeeper Olorunleke Ojo.
Both teams were tied on 1-1 after two legs and it needed penalties to determine the overall winners with Ojo saving three kicks for Akwa United to go through 3-2 on penalties.
“A penalty shootout is anybody’s game, but we thank God we have progressed to the next round,” the former Nigeria U20 shot stopper told SCORENigeria
“My duty is to stop the opponents’ penalty and for my team mates to convert ours which is what we did today and I am very pleased.”
He dedicated the victory to his wife, Tosin Ojo.
Today heroics were a repeat of what the goalkeeper produced when Akwa United defeated Niger Tornadoes in last year’s Aiteo Cup final also on penalties.
“It was a difficult match as the opponents are quite good and we were only able to get a goal that brought the match to a penalty shootout,” Ojo remarked.
Four NPFL teams – Akwa United, Enyimba, Plateau United and MFM FC – will now feature in the Confederation Cup playoffs for the group stage of the competition.
And former Giwa FC goalkeeper Ojo said he believes an NPFL team will win the competition for the first time.
By Kola Daniel