Ndifreke Effiong's 19th minute thunderbolt cancelled out Chukwuemeka Obioma's 15th minute opener for Heartland FC. Akarandut Orok headed the Promise Keepers into the lead in the 38th minute before Ndifreke Effiong completed his brace nine minutes after the restart to hand his team their seventh win of the 2019/2020 season in grand style.
Akwa United under new coach, Kennedy Boboye, had enjoyed five straight wins before being held to a goalless draw by Plateau United. The stalemate in Jos was followed by two straight defeats, losing by two goals margin to Kwara United in Uyo and Kano Pillars in Kano on Matchdays 15 and 16.
After an explosive opening to the game, it was the visitors that took the lead through Chukwuemeka Obioma in the 14th minute following a swift counter attack which was masterminded by Samuel Nnoshiri who cut open Akwa United's defence with ease.
Heartland's lead was shortlived as Ndifreke Effiong brought his team back on level terms when he fired a thunderbolt past Ikechukwu Ezenwa into the top left corner for his fifth goal of the season.
The home side went in front in the 37th minute through legendary striker, Akarandut Orok, who headed in Ali Chiwendu's delightful cross from the left as the Promise Keepers went into the break with a deserved 2-1 lead.
On resumption, United thought they were two goals clear, only for Ali Chiwendu to see his well taken freekick crash against the crossbar with goalkeeper, Ezenwa ,well beaten. Five minutes after the restart, Ifeanyi Eze laid a good ball for Chukwu whose low drive from outside the area was sailing to the bottom corner before Ezenwa dived low to make a save.
Akwa United made the most of their second half dominance and put the game beyond their visitors when Ndifreke Effiong rose the highest to send his glancing header beyond Ezenwa and into the back of the net from Etim Matthew's pin-point cross.
Coach Boboye in a bid to increase his team's tally, added more firepower to the attack and sent in winger, Paul Obata, new signing Salisu Saidu to replaced Akarandut Orok and Ifeanyi Eze, but the two forwards could not do much to add to their advantage as they record their seventh win of the season and moved up to sixth on the log with 26 points from 17 games, while Heartland slump to 11th on the log.
New signing, Olisa Ndah, who won the heart of the fans on his debut with an outstanding performance was voted Man-of-the-Match.
The Promise Keepers will next face FC Ifeanyi Ubah on Matchday 18 in Nnewi while Heartland will host Sunshine Stars in Okigwe on Sunday, February 2, 2020.
During the match, Akwa United played 14 freekicks in both halves, three corners, 20 throw-ins five offsides and one yellow card wile their counterpart, Heartland, played 10 freekicks, 20 throw-ins, two corner kicks and two yellow cards, one for the coach, Fidelis Elechukwu.