- Published on Monday, 03 April 2017 22:44
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By Chibuogwu Nnadiegbulam
After an imperious display that earned him three goals in 16 minutes against Shooting Stars at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Akwa United’s Alhassan 'Muazam' Ibrahim has pointed in the direction of his teammates for continuously supporting and encouraging him in this season's Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The first half hattrick which inspired the home team to a 4-2 win over their fellow mid-table visitors, has seen Alhassan’s goal tally for the season increase from six to nine as he now sits joint second on the goalscorers chart - four goals behind MFM FC’s Stephen Odey.
The lanky striker however reiterated that he did not set any goalscoring target for himself this season.
“I did not set any target regarding the number of goals I want to score. I just want to make sure that in every game that I play, I will help my team get the maximum three points,” Ibrahim said at the post-match press conference.
Coming off a run of one draw and two losses, Abdu Maikaba’s lads could not have asked for a better start at the Nest of Champions on Sunday, with Ubong Friday setting the tone of victory in the 11th minute, after which Alhassan stole the show in what turned out to be a half of blitz.
For a start, the former Flying Eagles rounded Shooting Stars goalkeeper Adamu Abubakar to double United's lead after intercepting Sodiq Suraj's diagonal pass.
He then wriggled his way through Shooting Stars’ defence to claim his brace on 35 minutes after receiving a long ball from defender Godspower Igudia. Alhassan then wrapped it up with a six-yard header off Amaechi Orji’s cross.
Reminiscing on his performance, the hattrick hero said: “With the help of my teammates I scored one, they then urged me to go for more saying I had the chance. After I scored the second and the third they were telling me I could score seven goals today.
“I am very happy with their encouragement. They were saying ‘go Alhassan you can score seven goals’ so I am very happy with the way the team is working and by God’s grace at the end of the season we will not only have the top scorer, we are also going to be the champions.”
Akwa United will next Sunday face Alhassan’s home club, Kano Pillars in Kano and the former Wikki Tourists star is optimistic his side can grab nothing less than a point on the road.
“We take every game as it comes. The battle between us and Shooting Stars is now history and we are going to Kano with the same mentality with which we play at home.
“We are going to Kano which is my home town and by God's grace we are going to come out with nothing less than a point. We are targeting all three points,” Alhassan told www.npfl.ng.
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