Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia ended the first round of the 2020/2021 league season in style with a 2-1 victory as they played host to visiting Plateau United.
Plateau United benefitted from the kickoff but in no time lost the ball to their hosts after few passes, leaving Abia Warriors to reverse the attack against them.
Abia Warriors sustained an early momentum offensively to take the lead in the 4th minute through Paul Samson as the winger benefitted from a Mustapha Jibreel assist to direct his effort inside the net leaving goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye helpless.
Plateau United who were determined not to succumb to that early setback threw everything they had going front, and it was not long before respite came early on for them in the 7th minute when defender, Markson Ojobo appeared to have fouled uche Ochowechi inside the 6 yard box, and the resultant penalty was clinically converted by Mustapha Ibrahim to have Plateau United drawn level.
Plateau United’s joy was shortlived as Godwin Obaje regained the lead for Abia Warriors in the 14th minute in the aftermath of Dele Ajiboye failing to deal with an aerial ball, leaving the veteran striker to poke home into an empty net. The goal gave the Imama Amapakabo led side a regained lead, stability and vigour to occasionally push for more inflictment.
Plateau United’s woes seemed to be compounded when goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye was stretchered off after a self-inflicted injury in the event of mistiming a kick. Adamu abubakar came in to replace him. And it was not long before the new goalkeeper was called to duty as a Fatai Abdullahi 12 yard screamer was expertly parried to safety. Mustapha Jibreel had the last action on goal for the half as his flick off a Kabiru Mohammed corner was brilliantly saved by Adamu Abubakar.
The visitors came out strong in the second half and showed an early intent in the 54th minute and Abba Umar with the opportunity to draw them level, but his close range shot was gallantly saved by goalkeeper Ojo Oloruneke.
Abia warriors soon found a second half steel and almost doubled their lead in the 62nd minute with Godwin Obaje heading straight on goal off a Mustapha Jibreel corner kick but no thanks to the woodwork denying him an opportunity to double his goal tally
Plateau United pressed on for a late equaliser with a couple of distant shots at goal, and an 86th minute chance fell to Mustapha Ibrahim but his effort went agonizingly wide for a goal kick. The centre referee finally blew the whistle to end proceedings, leaving aybia wtarriors with a 2-1 victory.
With this victory abia warriors climbed to 10th on the log, and are expectedly going to Jos for a reverse fixture at the end of the mid season break.
Caution: 40th minute, Uche Onwuasonaya (yellow card)
44th Minute, Buhari Ibrahim (yellow card)