How Sporting Lagos turned things around vs Akwa United to book final derby date with Remo Stars

Coach Paul says Akwa United gave his team problems.

How Sporting Lagos turned things around vs Akwa United to book final derby date with Remo Stars

Izuchukwu Akawor 08:59 - 16.07.2023

Sporting Lagos remain unbeaten in the Naija Super 8 but faced many problems against Akwa United in the semifinals to earn a date with Remo Stars in the final.

Sporting Lagos manager Paul Offor has explained how his team overcame a stubborn Akwa United to reach the Naija Super 8 final.

The Lagos-based side continued their impressive display in the pre-season tournament after a stunning victory over Akwa United in the semifinal.

Sporting came from a goal down to beat the Promise Keepers 2-1 to seal their place in the final slated for Sunday.

Sporting Lagos vs Akwa United: Brief

In what was expected to be an easy ride for the Uyo-based team given Sporting played 24 hours earlier, United started brilliantly but failed to hold on.

A first half penalty netted by the clam Cyril Olisema gave the Keepers from Uyo a deserved lead as they dominated the opening half.

Sporting Lagos
Sporting Lagos struggled to break Akwa United down in the first half.

However, the home side returned for the second 45 minutes looking different and rejuvenated en route to a shocking fight back.

Saturday Okon started the fight back with a beautiful tap-in to level the score before Jonathan Alukwu’s towering header sealed the deal in stunning and dramatic style.

Sporting Lagos
Saturday Okon started the fight back against Akwa United.

Sporting Lagos' issues vs United

After their win, coach Paul Offor spoke to the media and was expectedly in a happy mood.

Despite the palpable happiness, the talented manager admitted that his team knew nothing about the Promise Keepers heading into the decisive tie.

Sporting Lagos
Coach Paul Offor admitted that his Sporting couldn't find a way nehind Akwa United's back side.

He noted that his Sporting was forced to adapt and learn during the game and reacted after Akwa United gave them several problems in the opening half.

“Our shape, our shape wasn’t good,” Coach Paul told the media during his press conference.

Sporting Lagos
Jonathan Alukwu was the hero of the day as he completed the incredible turnaround.

“I have talked about shape, shape, shape all the time I have come into this room. Our shape wasn’t good, we couldn’t find a free man. So, (in the) second half we had to change the system to a 3-5-2 that gave us more of target men, with Okon (the first scorer) and Jonathan (scorer of the winner) up top.”

“So, every time we got the ball we tried to just make few passes and look for them and then, we had our wingbacks - the speedsters in Silas and Emeka, always finding that free man and it became the fourth man for us and we were able to put in good cross into the box and we converted.”

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