Abia Warriors Lose To Sporting Lagos

Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia came short in the pulsating Matchday 32 encounter of the Nigeria Premier Football League losing 2-4 to hosts, Sporting Lagos at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos.

Coach Bethel Oji made four changes to the side that beat Plateau United by a lone goal in Umuahia with Samson Obi and Paschal Nwabueze joining Sunday Megwo in attack while Emmanuel Onu was restored to the starting eleven. Goodluck Ozioma paired Prince Okorie at heart of defence.

The match lived up to its billing as Sporting Lagos got off to a flying start when Paschal Durugbor put them in front inside four minutes.

Just two minutes later Paschal Nwabueze thought he had equalized for the Umuahia Warriors when he tapped in Sunday Megwo’s header, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Abia Warriors continued to mesmerize the crowd but against the the run of play, Sporting Lagos doubled their lead after the visitors defence failed to deal with the home side’s cross in the fifth minute of the added time with Junior Lokosa benefitting to make it 2-0 as the teams retired to the dressing room.

When play resumed, Abia Warriors gaffer, Bethel Oji, threw in Antoine Desouza and Jerry Ogu in place of Samson Obi and Aliyu Mohammed respectively in the 48th minute and just a minute later, Megwo pulled one back for the visitors off a goal mouth scramble.

Nine minutes later, the Warriors were on level terms as Prince Okorie rose the highest to head home Ojonugwa’s corner kick.

A moment of laxity by the Warriors allowed Sporting Lagos to retake the lead through substitute Jonathan Alukwu in the 65th minute.

Abia Warriors had the chance to restore parity when they were awarded a penalty kick in the 71st minute of play after
Onu was brought down in the 18 yard box but Antoine Desouza’s tame spot kick was saved by the keeper.

The Warriors were made to pay for that miss when Jonathan Alukwu scored his second of the day from a devastating counter attack to make it 4-2 to Sporting Lagos five minutes later.

Abia Warriors had their goalkeeper, Nmecha Johnson, to thank, for keeping the damage down to the two goal deficit after making two brilliant saves that wowed the spectators.

Up next for Abia Warriors is an FA Cup tie against Ilaji FC of Oyo State in Benin City.

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