Akwa United players were psychologically prepared for penalty kicks, says Maikaba

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The Promise Keepers’ handler admitted that his players had rigorous sessions perfecting their spot kick acts in the win over the Libyans

Akwa United coach, Abdu Maikaba says his players were calm during their win over Al Ittihad of Libya in the Caf Confederation Cup first round, second leg tie because the technical crew made the players aware that penalty kick could be a possibility and they were prepared psychologically for it.

Aniekeme Asuquo netted in the 47th minute to even the aggregate scores after the Libyans pipped them 1-0 in Sfax, Tunisia during the first leg before the heroics of goalkeeper Ojo Olorunleke saw them through during the spot kick.

The tactician disclosed that the technical crew did a thorough job on the Promise Keepers’ players and that the players knew the penalty kick takers in chronological order even before the start of the match played at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Sunday.

“I feel so excited because this is the first time that Akwa United have qualified as far as this stage of the competition and it is also the first time they won a game at home on the continent,” Maikaba told media.

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“Even though the ticket to the group stage is not earned yet, but we are happy to progress after penalty shootout this term.

“The Preparation for penalty kicks is mostly psychological. You just have to let your players know that it is one of the possibilities that can happen in a game. We knew that penalty was a possibility and we told our players that it could come to that.

“We told the players to pick the penalty kick takers. We knew the penalty kick takers for all the 11 players in the pitch and the sequence with which it would be taken. It was part of the preparations we did before the game."