Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia surrendered all three points to their neighbors, Enyimba International FC, in an explosive week 13 encounter of the ongoing Nigeria Premier Football League played at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba.
Having dropped points at home for the first time this season after being held 1-1 by Sporting Lagos in a week 12 game at Umuahia Township Stadium, the Warriors needed to win the Oriental derby to move up in the league log, but it was not to be as a goal in each half by Eze Ekwutoziam and Chidiebere Nnachi confined the Umuahia Warlords to yet another away defeat.
The People’s Elephant took the lead in the 39th minute when Ekwutoziam was given time and space to take a 25-metre shot that hit the back of the net, leaving Warriors first-choice goalkeeper Nmecha Johnson helpless.
Nnachi then scored what later proved to be the winner for the home side in the 58th minute when he completed a dangerous Enyimba counterattack with a precise finish.
The Warriors, who seemed to have accorded much respect to their oriental brothers, came out of their shells in the closing stages of the game, pinning Enyimba to their half with ferocious attack after attack that culminated in a beautiful goal from captain Augustine Njoku to make the score line more respectable.
The goal came in the second minute of added time when the national team starlet overlapped from the right flank, evaded his marker and placed the ball in the far corner of the post to put the entire Enyimba team and their supporters in panic mode.
Unfortunately, it was too little, too late, an effort, as any hope of a possible comeback quickly faded when the center referee sounded the final whistle to signal the end of another interesting oriental battle that got spectators at the edges of their seats as the game lasted..
Up next for the Abia Warriors is a home tie against the Shooting Stars of Ibadan at the Umuahia Township Stadium.