The Nigeria Premier Football League U-17 Youth League Zonal qualifiers for South -East ( Group E) kicked off in Enugu with a pulsating encounter between Abia Warriors U-17 team and their Enyimba counterparts which ended 2-2 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.
The Warriors were just four minutes away from victory after their danger boy, George Bassey netted a brace but the young Peoples’ Elephant rallied to force a stalemate as spectators sat at the edges of their seats.
Abia Warriors took the game to their neighbours right from the blast of the whistle, winning the first corner of the match within a minute to demonstrate their intent. For all their effort, there was no goal to show in the first half.
They approached the second period very much like the first, but this time, they pinned their opponents in their own half.
The Warriors almost took the lead after 49 minutes of play when George Bassey’s header off a corner kick was tipped over the crossbar by Enyimba’s safe hand.
The deadlock was however broken in the 69th minute after a good interchange of play from the Warriors put Bassey through on goal to score from 16 yards.
The euphoria that greeted the beautiful goal was still on when Enyimba equalized, just a minute and a half later.
The Warriors were presented an opportunity to take the lead again in the 86th minute, when Enyimba’s tormentor-in-chief Bassey was brought down in the opponent’s vital area for a spot kick, and the striker picked himself up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to score his second.
Thunder seemed to strike again for the Warriors as lack of concentration once again allowed Enyimba to equalize and hold on for a 2-2 draw.
Up next for Abia Warriors U-17 is a tie against their Heartland of Owerri counterparts at the same venue tomorrow. Kick off time is 9.30am.