- Published on Monday, 07 August 2017 19:35
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By Clement Nwankpa Jr
Abia Warriors produced one of the performances of the season to beat Lobi Stars 4-2 in Makurdi. Sunday Adetunji (2), Anthony Okemmiri and Chinenye Agoha were on target for Warriors while Kingsley Eduwo grabbed a brace for Lobi. We learnt five things...
(1) WARRIORS BREAK LOBI'S HOME INVINCIBILITY
What a way to go about surviving the drop. Warriors lived up to the name and did it the most difficult way. Lobi had not lost at home since 2013. The 80-match home unbeaten run was halted by an 'army' of 'warriors' desperate to avoid relegation. If Abia Warriors should stay up, such brave performances are needed.
Adetunji was pivotal to this result. His directness worried the hosts all evening. Fittingly, he got a brace but suffered a hand break while nodding in his second and the team's third. Bad news for the lad, who was set to be an integral part of the CHAN Eagles. He shed tears knowing full well that his season could be over (and his fears turned out true). But one always has to be careful with his wishes or fears. Learnt this lad has always nursed fears of a nasty injury. He seemed to have a premonition of this.
(3) ANOTHER REVELATION FROM THE OKEMMIRI DYNASTY
Ogbonnaya Okemmiri was a member of that historic Enyimba squad that won the CAF Champions League in 2003. He was on the bench for Abia Warriors on Sunday but it was his younger sibling Anthony Okemmiri who stole the show. Petite Anthony scored a goal and made an assist in a man-of-the-match performance. Little wonder when he was substituted in the closing stages, he left to a standing ovation. The Okemmiris have sustained the supply.
(4) HOW INYAMA DID THE MAGIC
This is a little secret but Abia Warriors players were turbocharged after chairman, Chief Emeka Inyama dropped N1 million (cash) on the table and told them: "I don't want to go back to Umuahia with this (money). Win this game and this is all yours." The boys put up a performance that will become a reference point in the NPFL for a long while and the chairman lived up to his part of the bargain. Inyama had not been travelling with the team till the Matchday 31 fixture against Niger Tornadoes in Lokoja but his presence really motivated the boys in Makurdi.
(5) MAKURDI FANS DESERVE AN AWARD
Lobi fans were not happy with the result but were thrilled by the performance of the visitors. Not just the result, the home team's performance left much to be desired. But the fans would not take their frustration out on Abia Warriors (or the match officials). They applauded the visitors all the way and sang their praises as they walked off the pitch. This was in complete admittance of Warriors dominance of the game. Let's not exaggerate this...Warriors could have scored as many as six if the likes of Ndifreke Effiong and Shedrack Asiegbu did not take their feet off the pedal at some point.
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