Coach Abdu Maikaba has said that Akwa United are now gunning to win the Aiteo Cup so as to play international football next year after they failed to achieve that through the league.
Akwa United finished fourth in the NPFL just outside the bracket for teams who will play in the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup next year.
The oil-rich Akwa Ibom Government has invested heavily in the team this season and the top bosses at the Uyo club know they have to justify such huge outlay.
“We did our best to get a continental ticket through the league, but our efforts were not good enough, luckily we have another chance to play on the continent next year, so we have to give everything to win the Aiteo cup,” Maikaba declared.
They face Katsina United second team today at home in a rescheduled quarterfinal of the cup competition, which they won two years ago.
“We have prepared well for the game. We hope to win well so that the second leg will be less difficult for us,” Maikaba said.
“We have an idea of our opponents and that will help us a lot
“We have played without some of our top stars (who are with the national team at the WAFU Cup in Ghana) and we won convincingly against Shooting Stars (in the previous round).”
The overall winners of this quarterfinal will face Sunshine Stars for a place in the cup final slated for next month.
The winners of the Aiteo Cup will represent Nigeria in the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup.