After a grande closing ceremony, Amaimo, the reigning champions of the Akarachi Mbaike Unity Cup have become N1.5 million richer after they successfully defended the crown they won last year again in 2022.
The grand finale had the semblance of the 2021 edition of the tournament with Amaimo (Ikeduru) and Orodo B (Mbaitoli) having the privilege of meeting each other again in the final for the second consecutive edition of a competition meant for the 24 wards of Mbaitoli and Ikeduru Local Government Areas of Imo state.
It was a roller coaster 3-0 victory for Amaimo in the inaugural edition’s final played at the Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu Stadium, Iho, Ikeduru LGA in January 2021. The rematch of the final played on January 2nd, 2022 produced the same outcome with the reigning champions carting away the giant trophy but Orodo B made it tougher this term.
The full time didn’t produce any goal between the two teams but Amaimo triumphed in the ensuing penalties to beat Orodo B to the title again.
Earlier, Akabo (Ikeduru) came back from a goal down before beating Orodo A (Mbaitoli) 5-4 on penalties in the third place game played at the Ifakala Community Secondary School field, Ifakala, Mbaitoli LGA.
The tournament’s leading scorer, Chibueze Agha put Orodo A in the driver’s seat for his sixth goal of the competition in the 10th minute but Akabo’s Kelechi Kelvin drew his side level from a well taken free-kick in the 80th minute for the much cherished equaliser.
In the ensuing penalties, Akabo proved to be more clinical as they dispatched all their five kicks but Orodo A converted four to lose the game narrowly. Orodo A’s only missed penalty kick came from Darlington Gilbert, the same player that missed the crucial spot kick that denied them the equalizing goal in the semi-final loss to Orodo B.
For winning the title once more, Amaimo won the grand prize of the giant trophy and monetary reward of 1.5 million naira while Orodo B bagged N800,000 as losing finalists.
Akabo finished third and claimed N500,000 while Orodo A came fourth and got N200,000 as prize money for their effort.
There were individual awards too for those that have maintained their consistency from the beginning to the end of the tournament singlehandedly sponsored by the Founder/CEO Akarachi Foundation and Integrity Group Initiative (IGI), Engineer Akarachi Amadi. Orodo A’s Chibueze Agha who emerged as the highest scorer with six goals was rewarded with N100,000.
Orodo A emerged as the Most Behaved Team of the tournament while Amaimo duo of Ekene Onu and Goalkeeper, Avusa Anthony Amara were named the Most Valuable Player and the Best Goalkeeper respectively. They were each rewarded with N100,000.
In a related development, the Founder/CEO, Akarachi Foundation and IGI, Engineer Akarachi Amadi has gifted an indigent widow, Mrs Jemimah Ndukwu of Ngugi/Ikembara ward in Ikeduru LGA four bedroom bungalow with dual tank borehole as one of his social responsibilities to Mbaike people.
The keys to the edifice was handed over to the widow on Sunday January 2nd, 2022 the same day the grand finale of the 2nd Akarachi Mbaike Unity Cup was played at Ifakala ward in Mbaitoli LGA.
Results and Fixtures Of 2021/22 Akarachi Mbaike Unity Cup:
Uzoagba 1-4 Iho
Amatta 0-4 Amaimo
Inyishi/Umudim 1-0 Atta 1
Amakohia 2-0 OUE
Ngugo Ikembara 1-2 Atta 2
Avuvu vs Akabo
Ogwa 1 0-0 Ezinihitte (Ogwa 1 advanced 4-2 on penalties)
Ifakala 3-0 Afara Eziama
Ubomiri 2-2 Orodo A. Orodo A through to the next round 3-2 on penalties
Amaike 1-0 Ogwa 2
Ogbaku vs Umunoha/Asano
Umuagwu Umuwhoha 0-1 Orodo B
Second Round Results
Inyishi/Umudim 1-1 Amakohia (Amakohia qualified 4-3 on penalties.
Akabo 0-0 Iho. Akabo through to the last 8
Amaimo 0-0 Atta 2 (Amaimo qualified for the next round 6-5 on penalties)
Amaike 0-1 Orodo B
Ogwa 1 0-1 Ogbaku
Ifakala 0-1 Orodo A
Quarter Final results
Ogbaku 0-0 Orodo B
Orodo A 1-1 Ogbaku
Orodo A 2-2 Orodo B
Amakohia 0-3 Amaimo (Amaimo walked over Amakohia)
Akabo 1-0 Amakohia
Amaimo vs Akabo (Game cancelled)
Mbaitoli: Orodo A 0-1 Orodo B
Ikeduru: Amaimo 1-0 Akabo
Third Place Match
Akabo 1-1 Orodo A (Akabo won 5-4 on penalties)
Amaimo 0-0 Orodo B (Amaimo won 4-2 on penalties
Chibueze Agha (Orodo A)
Akuonye Iwueze (Iho Dimeze)
Ekene Onu (Amaimo)
Mmegwa Bekee (Uzoagba)
Simon Udoka (Iho Dimeze)
Chigozie Ogu (Amaimo)
Chikwado Iheanacho (Ifakala)
Chisom Osuigwe (Ifakala)
Chidera Onu (Inyishi/Umudim)
Eke Arinze (Afara/Eziama) (own goal)
Ugonna Oparaku (Amaike)
Uzoamaka Chukwuemeka (Ubomiri)
Chinaza Ukawuike (Ubomiri)
Osita Benjamin (Ngugo Ikembara)
Nwanyanwu Ojo (Atta 2)
Destiny Chukwuemeka (Atta 2)
Collins Onuoha (Orodo B)
Osinachi Okoro (Ogbaku)
Tobechukwu Ibeh (Amakohia)
Martins Kampala (Inyishi/Umudim)
Goodnews Egbushie (Ogbaku)
Chibuike Obi (Orodo A)
Chibunna Opara (Orodo B)
Smart Linda (Orodo B) Izunna Ukemezie Jonathan (Orodo B) Ikenna Links (Orodo B) Kelechi Kelvin (Akabo)