Akwa United’s title hopes suffered a hitch after they were handed a 2-0 defeat by El-Kanemi Warriors of Makurdi in a rescheduled Nigeria Professional Football League matchday 15 encounter in Maiduguri on Thursday.
The hosts who are battling to avoid the drop took the lead from the spot in the 11th minute through Micheal Ohanu.
It was Ohanu’s third goal for El-Kanemi Warriors since his mid-season season switch from Kwara United.
Sani Abbani made the points safe when he netted the second from a corner in the 53rd minute.
Akwa United were reduced to 10 men 11 minutes from when Jamiu Alimi was sent off for a second bookable offence.
The Promise Keepers remain in the seventh position with 29 points despite the defeat, eight points behind leaders Lobi Stars.
El-Kanemi Warriors moved from 17th to 15th in the table.