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2024 FA Cup: It's El-Classico in Aba as Abia Warriors clash with Enyimba International FC

Posted : 31 March 2024

Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia pummeled Miracle Football Club of Umunneochi 10-0 to qualify for the final of the Abia State Football Association Cup. Now, they will meet the Nigerian giant, Enyimba International FC, in the final match.

Antoine Desouza made history by becoming the first player to score five goals in a semi-final game of the FA Cup since the creation of Abia State in 1991.

Desouza's strike partner, Samson Obi, and substitute Paschal Nwabueze scored a brace each, while Uche Moses completed the rout with his first goal of the season for the rampaging Warriors at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba.

Coach Bethel Oji made only one change to the side that beat Enyimba Feeders in the semi-final, replacing Emmanuel Onu with Meme Okike. It was Okike who assisted the first goal for the Warriors.

The Umuahia-based side took the game to their non-league opponents right from the blast of the whistle, with Samson Obi and Antoine Desouza bullying the opponents' defenders.

Within seven minutes, it was 1-0. Moses Uche delivered a fine corner kick, and Wotlai floated the ball towards Meme, who nodded it back into play for Antoine to head into the net for the opener.

Antoine then turned provider when his through ball was met by Samson Obi, who made no mistake in slamming the ball into the net for Abia Warriors' second goal.

A minute later, Antoine dispossessed an opponent in the middle of the pack, found his partner-in-crime, Obi, who beat his marker and squared to Antoine to give Abia Warriors a 3-0 lead.

The Warriors were in the ascendancy, and Miracle FC, which caused a stir by beating their more illustrious opponents to reach the last four, had no response as Daniel Wotlai and Ojonugwa Adejoh gave them basic lessons in midfield.

After 24 minutes of play, it was 4-0 to Abia Warriors. Moses Uche delivered a cross off a free kick, and Samson Obi leapt the highest to head home.

At this point, the opponents' coach made four substitutions to stem the ugly tide, but the Warriors were only getting started.

The introduction of Paschal Nwabueze, Arinze Ogbonna, and Chuks Edward in the second stanza compounded the opponents' woes.

Within two minutes of his introduction, Nwabueze utilized his nuisance value, racing ahead of his marker from a through pass, and smashed a shot from a tight angle which the keeper parried to the path of the on-rushing Antoine Desouza, who tapped into an empty net. It was 5-0 for Abia Warriors after 47 minutes of play.

In the 61st minute, Jerry Ogu found time and space to overlap and sent a beauty of a delivery for Moses Uche to score from close range for Warriors' sixth goal of the match.

After that goal, Coach Bethel Oji brought on Ayodele Ezekiel for Ojonugwa Adejoh, and it was the former who orchestrated the next goal for the Warriors in the 68th minute.

A long ball from the captain of the day, Goodluck Ozioma, was met by Ayodele, who raced into the opponents' vital area and squared the ball to Paschal to make it 7-0.

Paschal Nwabueze scored his second of the match and Abia Warriors' 8th goal of the day after a swift combination of passes.

The Warriors were not done; after 78 minutes, Miracle FC's nightmare pounced again, and Antoine was at the end of Chuks Edward's cross to make it 9-0.

There was still time for the inevitable to happen after 89 minutes of play, when Antoine Desouza tapped in Jerry Ogu's cross into the net for his 5th goal and ensured a 10-0 victory for Abia Warriors FC.

Up next for Abia Warriors is a final showdown against the Nigerian champions, Enyimba International Football Club of Aba.


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