Abia Warriors are yet to pick a point in the 2020/ 2021 Nigeria Professional Football League following a 1-0 loss at home to visiting Rivers United.
Warriors, who lost their first game of the season to Enyimba, came out of the blocks like wounded lions to secure the maximum points at the Enyimba stadium.
In the 8th minute, Markson Ojobo and Nzube Anaezemba combined well to open scoring, but the Rivers United backline were alert to avert danger.
Not deterred by the resolute defence, Adeleke Adekunle, in the 12th minute, failed to utilise the goal scoring opportunity.
Two minutes later, Warriors defender, Ojobo was at alert to prevent Rivers’ Fortune Omoniwari from scoring.
However, in the 20th minute, all efforts to stop in-form Omoniwari failed as he neatly placed the ball into the bottom right corner beyond the outstretched hands of Warriors goalkeeper, Ojo Olorunleke, to score his second goal of the season.
Omoniwari has now scored three consecutive goals – Bloemfontein Celtic, Enugu Rangers and now, Abia Warriors.
He has also set the record of being the player that scored the last NPFL goal of 2020 and the first NPFL goal of 2021.
In the 22nd minute, Abia Warriors’ penalty appeal was turned down by the referee, Tekena Garando, but they continued putting lots of effort to change the scoreline before the half time break.
At the restart of the second half, Warriors’ trio of Nzube Anaezemba, Paul Samson and Tekena Garando combined to conjure up a chance, but Samson’s attempt hit the woodwork, agonizingly.
In the 63rd minute, the visitors spurned a beautiful opportunity to extend their lead when Bakary Bamba’s shot was off target after dribbling past two Warriors defenders and was clean on goal.
As the game wore on, Warriors’ coach, Imama Amapakabo, effected some changes in a desperate bid to avoid the second loss of the game.
In the 73rd minute, Rivers United were down to 10 men when Nelson Esor received a marching order for a poorly-timed tackle.
With a numerical advantage, Warriors poured forward, and in the 80th minute, a long pass by Adeleke Adekunle picked out Tekena, who squared to Obioma, whose cheeky back heel attempt at goal was pushed to safety by GK Abiodun Akande.
In the 89th minute, Warriors had the chance to share the spoils, but Adekunle’s header was parried away by Akande against the woodwork for a last minute corner kick as the game ended 1-0.