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A very special Nigeria Professional Football (NPFL) game will be decided on Sunday at the ‘Nest of Champions’, the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.

The gladiators will fly the flag of Dakkada FC and Rivers United FC.

Both sides have punched above their weight this season and currently sit among the top five sides in the division.

Dakkada FC thrives in keeping the ball: an extremely fast and aggressive side in possession, the Uyo side, shrewdly managed by Caleb Esu, is usually set up to play the conventional 4-4-2 formation.


The Uyo side finds so much joy operating from the wings and both channels of the opposition with their marauding ‘number 9s’, Ifegwu Ojukwu and Femi Ajayi wreaking havoc against many a side.

Dakkada’s wing play is outstanding. They soak up pressure admirably and when the opposition loses possession, the plucky new Boys counter attack with pace, precision and deadly efficiency.

They have employed this tactic to near perfection especially in away games and have the second-best away record of all 20 clubs in the NPFL (Lobi Stars have the best record, in this context).

Moses Effiong is a Man to be feared. He is Dakkada FC’s top scorer   and is ultra-effective and efficient both aerially and with low balls.

They also have some ‘old heads’ in their ranks in the shape of attacking midfielder, Aniekan Ekpe and centre half, Harrison Ibukun.


Dakkada FC is a well-drilled side and when they play in Uyo, they are a formidable proposition.

The Uyo club have won four and lost two of their home games this term.

Head coach of Dakkada FC, Caleb Esu insists the team will not be conservative in their approach against the dangerous Rivers United on Sunday.

“I want to express my attacking prowess with my team against Rivers United,” Esu told the official Rivers United FC website,

“It’s all about consistency and cohesion in the team. The boys that I have in my team are boys that are very hungry to play.


“There is a good blend of youth and experience in my team and I always make sure that they are clear as regards what they need to do when faced with any particular opposition,” he said.

Rivers United’s technical manager, Stanley Eguma, on his part says Sunday’s game is crucial and insists amassing maximum points is a possibility.

“We know that Dakkada FC is a very good team but we are not afraid of them. We are going there (Uyo) to fight for the three points and it is very possible we are going to come back with (the points),” Eguma said.

Something will have to give on Sunday when these two high-flying sides go toe to toe at the picturesque Nest of Champions on Sunday.

One thing is certain though – it will be a special and extremely beautiful spectacle between two aesthetically-pleasing sides.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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