Abia Warriors held by Katsina United in Biffo’s return
By Promise Etim
Abdullahi Biffo’s return to Umuahia with Katsina United produced a positive end as he led them to a well deserved 1-1 draw to Abia Warriors, his former side.
In a hugely physical game, Abia Warriors took the lead on the 16th minute through Obi Samson and the visitors levelled terms on 39 minutes through a penalty converted by Joshua Agboola.
Abia knew a win could lift them to fourth position on the log, depending on the outcome of the games involving Rivers and Nassarawa in Port Harcourt, Rangers and Kwara United in Enugu and Go Round and Niger Tornadoes in Omoku.
Katsina were hoping to consolidate on the 2-1 victory against Rivers United on matchday 16 to move to second place at the expanse of Kano Pillars, whose date with Akwa United was differed due to the latter’s Continental assignment on Wednesday.
The visitors almost went behind five minutes into the fixture, when Kola Raimi’s volley rattled the woodwork. Moments later, they were unlucky not to be in front, when Tasiu Lawal ditched the offside mark, but could only manage a weak effort, to the delight of the home fans.
The home side were close to drawing first blood in the quarter hour mark, but Samson Obi could only see his low drive parried to safety by Paul Dami, after dribbling past a quartet of Katsina defenders. Obi would make up for his earlier strike, a minute after, when he smashed past Paul, following a quick move.
Katsina could have been down with two on 20 minutes, as Paul needed to stretched at full length to keep out Kola Raimi’s pile driver from 20 yards.
Six minutes to the break, Chinedu Efugh handled Destiny Ashadi’s cross inside the area, to earn the visitors a penalty. Joshua Agboola stepped up to convert from the spot to draw Biffo’s men level.
Five minutes after the break, Uche Okafor’s finger tip save spared Abia blushes, as Ebenezer Odeyemi’s glancing header from Ashadi’s freekick headed for the top corner.
Substitute Ossy Martins was close to restoring Abia’s advantage on the 78 minutes, but would only see his close range header saved by visiting goalkeeper, Paul. Anthony Okemiri was the supplier moments after coming on.
Abia Warriors taught they had secured the winner on 83 minutes, Chinedu Efugh headed home, but Paul was caged in the process, in what the referee adjudged an infringement.
Ndifreke Effiong also struck the woodwork in the 87th minute, in what could have changed the dynamics of the fixture in the closing stages.
Abia Warriors drop to 10th on the log, while Katsina United are level on points with Kano Pillars in third.
Abia Warriors: Uche; Ozor, Goodluck, Nwangra, Adebayo, Efugh, Udomokon, Kola, Effiong, Asiegbu, Obi
Katsina United: Paul; Kappe, Tswanya, Hussain, Ajanah, Usman, Obinna, Ashadi, Lawal, Agboola, Ebenezer
Abia Warriors 1-1 Katsina United
On Target 8-4
Fouls Won 12-15
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