Ibrahim Dehinde was the hero for Abia Warriors as his two first-half goals gave the home side a deserved 2-1 win over Katsina United in a match day 7 of the on-going Nigeria Premier Football League game at Umuahia Township Stadium.
The diminutive midfielder announced his return from injury with a brace to ensure Abia Warriors maintained their 100 per cent home record so far.
Coach Erasmus Onuh made three changes to the squad that lost 1-2 in controversial circumstances to Sunshine Stars in Akure with injury returnees Jerry Ogu, Sunday Megwo and Ibrahim Dehinde starting ahead of Chidera Ugwunna, Jimoh Gbadamosi and Paschal Nwabueze.
The Warriors started strongly and made their intent known from the first minute. It was attacked after attack which got United’s defence rattled, and they had to resort to rough play to get a foothold on the game.
In the 11th minute of play, a freekick was awarded to Abia Warriors from 19 yards after Meme Okike was brought down, and Ibrahim Dehinde delivered a precise finish to put the Warriors ahead.
From there on, it was all Abia Warriors with Samson Obi, Meme Okike and Sunday Megwo proving a handful for the away side defence.
Nine minutes later, Sunday Megwo should have increased the tally for the home side when Meme’s swift delivery into the 16-yard box found him unmarked but the former Abia Comets hitman headed wide to the relief of the away side.
Nonetheless, that miss was forgotten by the home supporters when the combative Adejoh Ojonugwa made a dashing run from the centre of the field, evaded some tackles and passed the ball to Samson Obi at the edge of the opponent’s penalty area and the heavily-built striker made a 360 degrees turn and placed the ball for the onrushing Dehinde to slot home for his second goal of the game.
It ended 2-0 in the first half with the home side totally in control.
The second period saw Katsina United trying very hard to reduce the deficit but the Warriors defence line was resolute, with Collins Nwoburuoke and Prince Okorie keeping former Abia Warriors lanky forward, Lukman Bello in check.
It was a flurry for Abia Warriors mid-way in the second half but they failed to convert any.
Katsina United took advantage of a momentary loss of concentration from the home side to reduce the deficit in the 80th minute when Azeez Falolu rose unmarked to head home from a quick corner kick.
But the visitors could not find the leveller as Abia Warriors held on to record a fourth straight home win of the season.