Enyimba International Football Club of Aba have continued their run of victories over Abia Warriors in the Nigeria Professional Football League Abia derby.
On Tuesday, in their opening league in Aba, the Peoples Elephants beat the Warriors 1-0 to record a winning start to the new 2020/2021 NPFL season. With the victory, Enyimba have now beaten Abia Warriors in their last five league meetings.
The match was keenly contested with both teams creating chances but failing to score a goal in the first half.
The second half produced some sparks as the hosts mounted pressure on their opponents and it paid off in the 50th minute when referee Ferdinand Udoh awarded a penalty after the ball was handled by an Abia Warriors defender.
Samad Kadiri stepped up to the spot, sent Warriors goalkeeper, Ojo Olorunleke the wrong way to give Enyimba the lead.
Warriors enhanced their forward play with Markson Ojobo, Nzube Anaezemba and Arit Archibong producing some brilliant runs that made Enyimba’s defenders work to protect their lead.
The push almost paid off for the visitors in the 66th minute with Archibong starting a sweet counter-attack move but when the final ball got to him, he failed to find the back of the net.
Kadiri also missed a chance to get a brace when he couldn’t convert a goal-scoring opportunity in the 83rd minute. But there was little to worry about as his goal from the spot made the difference in the end and gave Enyimba victory.
Despite the defeat, Abia Warriors coach, Imama Amapakabo is impressed with the performance of his team.
During the post-match interview, he was full of praise for his players. “We are chasing 114 points, we have lost 3 today so we will go after the remaining 111.
We played against a very good team and I’m impressed we lost by just a long goal and it was from the penalty spot. It wasn’t a bad show. It was an exciting game”, he concluded.
Enyimba’s coach, Fatai Osho also had good things to say about the visiting team.
“They did very well. I’m so impressed. Abia Warriors is a very good team, they are very organized,” he said.
“We needed to come out of our shell after that bad defeat in Sudan. We must improve before our next match against Kwara United, they had a good game in Jos, so we must improve before we play them in Ilorin.”
Action will resume in the Nigeria Professional Football League today in Port Harcourt with Rivers United hosting 2016 champions, Rangers International.