By James Agberebi:
Akwa United missed the chance to go just two points off leaders Plateau United following the Uyo club's 1-1 away draw against Rivers United in a rescheduled matchday 22 Nigeria Professional Football League tie on Wednesday, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Musa Newman gave Akwa United a surprise lead early in the first half before Emeka Ogbugh restored parity for Rivers United few minutes later.
The draw means Akwa United remain third on 51 points in the league table, four points adrift of Plateau United, while Rivers United moved up from the 14th position to 12th on 41 points and with a game in hand.
Akwa United took a shock lead in the 11th minute through Newman who tapped in a poor clearance from the Rivers United defence.
In the 14th minute, Rivers United were back on level terms thanks to Ogbugh who headed in Ali Chiwendu's free-kick.
Ibrahim Alhassan had the chance to put Akwa United ahead again in the 23rd minute but his penalty was saved by Sunday Rotimi who had brought down Newman.
Rivers United almost took the lead in the 34th minute but Chiwendu's delightful free-kick was tipped away by Akwa United keeper Olorunleke Ojo for a corner.
With one minute remaining in the first half, Rivers United's Esosa Igbinoba was presented with a big chance but he shot wide from 14 yards.
Akwa United should have gone ahead in the 63rd minute only for Christian Pyagbara to shoot straight at Rotimi after he was set up by Otobong Effiong.
With 15 minutes left, Rivers United's Yusuf Jaiyeola curled an effort from the edge of the box which went just over the bar.
A minute later, Chiwendu swung in corner unfortunately came off the cross to the relief of Akwa keeper Ojo.
Rivers United continued to create chances and went close to scoring in the 83rd minute but Ogbugh's strike from 30 yards went inches wide.
Alhassan had Akwa's next opportunity in the 84th minute only to see his shot go agonizingly wide.