Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia ended the year 2023 on a high note with an emphatic 3-1 defeat of visiting Gombe United in one of the end-of-year games of the Nigeria Premier Football League decided at the Umuahia Township Stadium.
The match day 16 encounter saw the Warriors score three goals for the second successive time at their fortress.
Ahead of the game, Coach Erasmus Onuh was confident his wards will get the job done despite some injury concerns in the team, forcing the veteran tactician to pair mercurial midfielder Daniel Wotlai with Prince Okorie at the heart of the defence, and the former national U-23 star did not disappoint as he kept the opposing attackers at bay.
And just like Coach Onuh rightly predicted the Warriors took the game to the visitors right from the first blast of the referee’s whistle with the trio of Emmanuel Onu, Daniel Ijeh and Arinze Ogbonna showing their dominance in the midfield, while Uche Moses and captain fantastic, Augustine Njoku were beaming serious warning signs that Gombe United failed to heed at the right side of the field.
And so, after 22 minutes of play, Warriors’ hitman, Samson Obi opened the scoring from Emmanuel Onu’s cross after the effervescent Daniel Wotlai’s telegraphic long pass to the latter to set up Obi for the opening goal.
Four minutes later, it was 2-0 for the home side, Moses Uche with a delightful cross to Paschal Nwabueze who made no mistake to tap home from 20 metres.
The home side ended the first period with a two goal advantage.
One minute into the second half Obi scored his second of the match to give Abia Warriors a three goal lead. Moses Uche combining well with Augustine Njoku, and the full back’s dangerous cross fell kindly to Samson Obi to smash home after Gombe United’s defence line failed to clear.
The visitors pulled one back just a minute later when David Nnaji was gifted the ball and his curled shot at the edge of Warriors’ box sailed beautifully into the net in what served as a mere consolation.
Despite making five substitutions, the visitors could not breakdown the Warriors’ defence, as the home side held on to the two goal cushion till full time.
Up next for Abia Warriors is a date with Akwa United at the Eket Township Stadium.