FC Ifeanyiubah returned to winning ways in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL)Â on SundayÂ with returnee striker, Chijioke Alakwe, playing a prominent role in their assured display against Katsina United.
After a 2-0 win over ABS in Nnewi on Match Day 23, the Anambra Warriors suffered a momentary dip-in-form as they secured only one point from their subsequent three league games, a disappointing draw at home to Wikki Tourists.
Not only did the Anambra Warriors find victory elusive in those games, they also found goalscoring hard to come by as they only recorded a penalty goal – Prince Aggreh’s at Rivers United – to show for in those three games.
With their minimum target of a continental finish gradually slipping off as a consequence, Coach Yaw Preko turned to the hitherto unwanted AlakweÂ on SundayÂ and the effervescent striker repaid his faith with a stellar performance, having a hand in both of his team’s goals – a goal and a winning a penalty -.
“It’s a very good feeling. Coming back again and scoring in my first start, feels so great,” the Imo-born striker toldÂ www.npfl.ngÂ afterÂ Sunday’sÂ win.
Alakwe had fallen down the pecking order in the first half of the season, failing to make an appearance for the team. More established stars such as last season’s league top scorer Godwin Obaje, Pascal Seka and Ifeanyi Onuigbo have been favoured over him.
Alakwe who scored twice in nine appearances for the club last term has however made four appearances in this second stanza, includingÂ Sunday’sÂ start much to a special kind of admiration from the home fans.
“Yea, it’s always like that when i played last season (the love from fans.”
“I was their favourite and they were so happy to have me back because it’s been long they saw me play and were asking questions why I was not playing,” he said.
Now that he is back to reckoning, he hopes to take his opportunity well.
“I’m 100 per cent up for the competition for places. I have waited for so long and now that I’m back and I’m gonna take every approach to see I stay in it.”
Sunday’sÂ win lifted FC Ifeanyiubah to just one spot into 6th but Alakwe is optimistic that with his side facing a trip to relegation-haunted Remo Stars this weekend, they can surge higher.
“We are working hard right now and we are going for a win at Sagamu. It is a winnable game and we want to move higher on the league table so we can achieve our season’s aim,” he concluded.