By Tony Ademodi, League Management Company
Abia Warriors kept alive their hopes of surviving relegation from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) with a 2-1 win against MFM in Okigwe on Wednesday.
Abia Warriors started the game with intent and scored very early in the third minute through Ikennna Stephen. It was a solo run from his defence line that took him close to the opponents box where his effort at goal beat MFM ‘keeper Jerry Isaac.
The hosts doubled their lead two minutes later when Kabiru Mohammed’s cross found an unmarked Valentine Odoh, who headed in to score his ninth league goal of the season.
Abia Warriors should have gone three up before the 10th minute, but Odoh failed to score off a pass from Stephen.
MFM however pushed for goal and scored in the 18th minute through Alabi Adebayo’s headed effort from a goal kick by his goalkeeper, Isaac.
Abia Warriors where lucky not to have conceded on the 39th minute as Yeo Chacool failed to communicate with his defence partner, Innocent Gabriel. His back pass to goalkeeper Pius Ibrahim was not read well. But he was lucky to see the ball roll away metres from going into the net. The Umuahia based team went into the half time with their 2-1 lead.
MFM would come close to levelling scores in the 58th minute when substitute Kenedium Nelson and Mayowa Balogun combined well in the midfield only to have Nelson shot palmed away by Abia Warriors’ ‘keeper Ibrahim.
MFM pushed further for an equaliser and came close in the 80th minute with Alimi Adebayor combining well with Barry Legbara close to Abia Warriors penalty area. But the latter’s shot at goal was again saved by Ibrahim and Abia Warriors held on to their 2-1 win.
The Warriors will host Remo Stars, while MFM will be guests to Rivers United on Matchday 27 this weekend.