A later Philip David equalizer helped Akwa United claim a point against Enyimba in Aba on Wednesday.
Enyimba coach Fatai Osho made three changes to the team that beat Rivers United in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Dare Olatunji started in place of Anthony Omaka, who completes a domestic ban, while Abiodun Adebayo and Tosin Omoyele were also handed starting berths.
On his part, opposition Coach Coach Kennedy Boboye, also made three changes to the side that defeated Plateau United on Saturday.
Matthew Etim took the place of suspended right back Etboy Akpan, while winger Godswill Nicholas also started in place of Samuel Amadi and Ubong Essien came in for Ubong Friday.
Akwa United are winless in their last six trip to Aba, but almost took a shock lead in the opening minute, but Enyimba goalkeeper John Noble denied Charles Atshimene from point blank range.
Another chance fell to Akwa United three minutes later, a sloppy defending from Abiodun Adebayo allowed Seth Mayi to sneak in behind the defenders,before rounding Noble, but he could not finish off the move.
Enyimba’s first chance came after 10 minutes of play, Anayo Iwuala beat Matthew Etim with his pace but Tosin Omoyele failed to make a proper connection with his low cross.
Akwa United wasted another great opportunity to go in front six minutes later, this time Ndifreke Effiong was the guilty player.
The striker placed his shot straight to the waiting hands of Noble after being put through on goal by Atshimene.
The last big chance of the half was created by the visitors again, Godswill Nicholas broke down the right and sent a perfect low cross into the box but Ndifreke’s first time effort sailed over.
Enyimba stepped up their tempo after the restart and made Akwa United pay for all their misses as Captain Austine Oladapo put them in from four minute, before na hour mark.
Oladapo gave his side the lead after finishing off a superb team move and the goal was assisted by former Akwa United midfielder Cyril Olisema.
The visitors responded and almost drew level five minutes later, after a corner kick fell for Olisa Ndah but his snapshot went wide.
Another chance came for Akwa United in the 72nd minute, Seth Mayi placed an incisive pass for Ndifreke who curled a one-time effort over the bar from close range.
Enyimba almost scored the all important second in the 82nd minute, midfielder Olatunji found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper after exchanging passes with Orok Gabriel, but he shot wide.
John Noble pulled off a great save in the 85th minute to deny the visitors again when he tipped Atshimene’s headed over the bar.
Akwa United finally drew level with the last kick of the game courtesy of Philip David, who jabbed home Atshimene’s knockdown from a free kick.
The point gained helped Akwa United to sixth place, while Enyimba are in third place behind Pillars and Kwara United, but have two games in hand.