Ijeh Shoots Abia Warriors To Victory In Kano

Star midfielder, Daniel Ijeh was the hero for Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia as his wonder strike at the Sani Abacha Stadium condemned title chasing Kano Pillars to their first NPFL home defeat of the ongoing season.

It was Abia Warriors first away victory of the season.

Coach Bethel Oji made four changes to the starting eleven against Kwara United FC in Aba last Thursday with Jerry Ogu, Emmanuel Onu, Sunday Megwo and Obi Samson surrendering their positions to Aliyu Mohammed Goyi, Ifeanyi Anaemena, Chinemerem Okike and Fabian Omaka.

The game lived up to expectation as it was entertaining, intriguing, captivating, and breathtaking. The first half saw both sides cancelling out each other with chances far and between.

In the second period, buoyed by the mammoth crowd, Kano Pillars came all out in search of goals, but they met a well drilled Abia Warriors defence. The introduction of Adamu Ibrahim in the second half saw the home side increase the tempo, but whatever they threw at the visitors the defence line stood stoutly, and the Warriors relied on counter attack with Daniel Ijeh as the orchestrator.

That game plan would have paid off for Abia Warriors in the 58th minute when Godwin Udoh met Daniel Ijeh’s telegraphic pass inside Kano Pillars’ box totally unmarked, but his hasty shot went sky high, when all he needed to do was to control the ball and calmly pick his spot.

As the game progressed Abia Warriors gaffer, Coach Bethel Oji replaced Fabian Omaka and Godwin Udoh with Onu Emmanuel and Antoine Desouza, with the latter becoming an instant nuisance for the Pillars’ defence. More importantly for the visitors, Daniel Ijeh had more freedom to defend and initiate Abia Warriors’ counter-attacks.

In the 78th minute, the unexpected happened to the home side.

Daniel Ijeh, who won Man-of-the -Match gong, sent a diagonal pass to Meme Okike, and as the winger gave chase, Pillars’ defender who was a yard ahead of him tipped the ball to the goalkeeper but unfortunately for them, the ball went out of play for a corner kick to Abia Warriors.

The resultant corner was headed out and Daniel Ijeh who was well positioned from 23 yards took a one-time shot that sailed into the roof of the net. It was a beauty of a goal that silenced the mammoth crowd.

Stunned by that goal, Kano Pillars came all out in search of the equalizer, and their experienced captain, Rabiu Ali even hit the bar but Abia Warriors held on to secure their second consecutive victory after that heartwarming 1-0 win over Kwara United at the Enyimba International Stadium last week.

Up next for Abia Warriors is a home tie against league leaders, Lobi Stars of Makurdi.

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