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Ijeh Shoots Abia Warriors to victory in Kano

Posted : 05 March 2024

Star midfielder Daniel Ijeh emerged as the hero for Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia, delivering a wonder strike at the Sani Abacha Stadium that condemned title-chasing Kano Pillars to their first NPFL home defeat of the ongoing season. The victory also marked Abia Warriors' first away win of the season.

Coach Bethel Oji implemented four changes to the starting eleven from the match against Kwara United FC in Aba the previous Thursday. Jerry Ogu, Emmanuel Onu, Sunday Megwo, and Obi Samson made way for Aliyu Mohammed Goyi, Ifeanyi Anaemena, Chinemerem Okike, and Fabian Omaka.

The game lived up to expectations, proving entertaining, intriguing, captivating, and breathtaking. The first half witnessed both sides canceling each other out, with chances sparse.

In the second period, buoyed by the mammoth crowd, Kano Pillars launched an all-out offensive in search of goals. However, they faced a well-drilled Abia Warriors defense. The introduction of Adamu Ibrahim in the second half saw the home side increase the tempo, but the Warriors' defense stood firm. Abia Warriors relied on counter-attacks with Daniel Ijeh orchestrating the strategy.

In the 58th minute, Abia Warriors had a golden opportunity when Godwin Udoh, receiving Daniel Ijeh's telegraphic pass inside Kano Pillars' box, found himself unmarked. However, his hasty shot went sky-high when he could have controlled the ball and calmly picked his spot.

As the game progressed, Abia Warriors' Coach Bethel Oji replaced Fabian Omaka and Godwin Udoh with Onu Emmanuel and Antoine Desouza. The latter instantly became a nuisance for Pillars' defense. Crucially, Daniel Ijeh gained more freedom to defend and initiate Abia Warriors' counter-attacks.

In the 78th minute, an unexpected turn of events unfolded for the home side. Daniel Ijeh, awarded the Man-of-the-Match, delivered a diagonal pass to Meme Okike. As the winger gave chase, a Pillars' defender, a yard ahead, tipped the ball to the goalkeeper. Unfortunately for them, the ball went out of play for a corner kick to Abia Warriors. The ensuing corner was headed out, and Daniel Ijeh, well-positioned from 23 yards, took a one-time shot that sailed into the roof of the net—a beautiful goal that silenced the mammoth crowd.

Stunned by the goal, Kano Pillars launched an all-out effort to equalize. Their experienced captain, Rabiu Ali, even hit the bar, but Abia Warriors held on to secure their second consecutive victory after the heartwarming 1-0 win over Kwara United at the Enyimba International Stadium last week.

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


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