A brace from Shedrack Asiegbu was sufficient to give Abia Warriors a 2-1 triumph in their match against Plateau United in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at the Umuahia Township Stadium on Sunday.
Asiegbu scored his first goal in the 11th minute to give Abia Warriors the lead with his second fired in from the penalty spot in added time to seal the triumph. Plateau United evened out through a deflected strike from substitute Hamzat Owolabi in the 80th minutes.
With only one win in the last 5 NPFL matches, Abia Warriors rolled out three changes to their starting lineup while Plateau United rolled out one changes from the team that whipped Gombe United 5-1 a week ago.
Abia Warriors had the first shot on goal through Uche Ihuarulam who benefitted from a decent interchange of play between him and Sunday Adetunji to discharge directly at Ajiboye.
With both sides still settling down into play, The Uchedu babes led the pack. Shedrack Asiegbu gathered a leeway by a Plateau United defender on his chest and fired with a left-footed strike on the swing to stagger Ajiboye from 25-yards. A strike which sent the home supporters into wild jubilation.
Unflinching by going behind, Plateau United replied in the 31st minute through a shot by Emeka Umeh, the towering striker linked with a cross by Hamisu Saleh only for Moses Ocheje to repel the ball out for a corner.
After three minutes, Umeh missed another chance to balance. This time he held of Oboroakpo before attempting a hurl shot which went over the goal, his inability to convert the open chance guaranteed Abia Warriors went into half-time with a 1-0 lead.
Adetunji almost increased the lead for Abia Warriors when he beat a poor offside trap by the Peace Boys in the 49th minute but his shot from the right missed the goal. He was proving too troublesome for Plateau United defenders to contain as he tried Ajiboye again in the 71st minute.
Plateau United get an equalizer in the 80th minute as Uchedu Babes fails to clear an ethereal ball with the ball falling on substitute Hamzat Owolabi via a deflection from inside the penalty box
Not happy with making due with a point each, Abia Warriors coach Abdullahi Biffo sent In Bashir Sherif for the tiring Arinze Nwangwu before Emeka Isaac saw his sweetly struck free-kick tipped over the crossbar by Ajiboye with Ihuarulam failing to convert from the rebound.
The Victory sees Abia Warriors move one place up to 11th position on the NPFL log with 35 points after 25 matches while Plateau United stay on the table with 45 points.
Meanwhile, in other centers, Kano Pillars defeat MFM FC 3-1, The Masu Gida put in a clinical showing to overcome the Olukoya Boys. Amos Gyang and Adamu Mohammed scored two late goals for Kano Pillars, as Masu Gida extinguished the fire in MFM at the Sani Abacha Stadium.
Rabiu Ali gave Pillars an early advantage when he converted a 13th-minute spot kick. The Olukoya Boys took the game to the 2013 league winners and equalized through Stephen Odey for his 15th goal of the term.
It was not until the 86th minute that Gyang made the breakthrough for Masu Gida as the winger headed the ball into the net.
Fidelis Ilechukwu’s boys collapsed and conceded again shortly before the final whistle as Adamu chipped the ball beyond goalkeeper Ospino Egbe to make it 3-1.
Picture Credits: LmcNpfl