Go Round pip Abia Warriors off Otop’s early Strike
By Fisayo Dairo
Striker Okon Otop scored after just two minutes to give hosts Go Round a hard-earned 1-0 win over Abia Warriors in Omoku on Sunday.
The visitors, looking to bounce back to winning ways after two winless outings were shocked early on and never recovered throughout the game despite a myriad of scoring opportunities at the Krisdera Stadium.
Both teams made three changes to their last games in the league, going into Sunday’s game. Ngozi Elechi restored his side’s top scorer Adeseun Adelani to the starting lineup after missing the last game against Rivers United.
Abia Warriors also welcomed back captain Austin Obaroakpo while winger Yakub Hammed was handed a start.
The game was sealed with the very first attempt on goal. Captain Nelson Esor’s ball over the top was flicked by Chidi Nwachukwu into the direction of Otop who jabs home beyond Joshua Enaholo.
Warriors attempted a response soon after through an Emeka Isaac effort which Stanley Nwabali did well to gather. The visitors from then on enjoyed a fair share of possession but only threatened through long range attempts which at best went wide.
Obi Samson who had seemingly had the most of Warriors’ efforts was yanked off five minutes before the break by coach Emmanuel Deutsch, the Cameroonian sending on Uduak Idemekon.
Warriors started the second half the way they ended the first and it was Uduak Idemokon who was presented with their first real opportunity. The youngster blazed a free kick from 18 yards over.
The visitors continued their domination and Kalu Nweke got on the end of Ndifreke Effiong’s acrobatic cross just before the hour mark but his header went over Nwabali’s bar.
The hosts then threatened through an unlikely source – defender Chile Azu. The centre back latched on to a rebound on his own long throw to draw a save out of Warriors goalkeeper Enaholo.
Azu threatened again through a free kick from 25 yards but former Under-20 goalkeeper, Enaholo beat his effort away.
Warriors continued to pour forward in search of an equaliser and were almost caught on the break seven minutes from time but Adelani’s effort after a brilliant individual play flew inches wide of the bottom corner.
The hosts hung on for their victory in the end to secure a consecutive home victory for the first time this season.
Go Round who are yet to get a point away from home this term will travel to El-Kanemi next weekend while Yobe Desert Stars will visit Abia Warriors.
Go Round: 1 Stanley Nwabali 2 Ebuka Akobundu 19 George Vincent 12 Uche Ezeala 14 Morris Chukwu 5 Chile Azu 33 Odinaka Onyirumba 7 Okon Otop 30 Chidi Nwachukwu 10. Nelson Esor 20 Adeseun Adelani
Subs: 24 Victor Obiowo 4 Ugonna Ezenwaka 8 Stanley Worlu 9 Shedrack Oghali 15 Chris Kpekpe 21 Obinna Ukwu 23 Obinna Bassey
BOOKED: Chidi Nwachukwu, Stanley Nwabali, Okon Otop, Adelani Adeseun
GOAL: Okon Otop 3′
Abia Warriors: 1 Joshua Enaholo 5 Ozor Chinedu 15. Mohammed Garba 18 Emeka Isaac 16. Austin Obaroakpo 6 Abiodun Adebayo 13. Yakub Hammed 11 Kalu Nweke 10 Ndifreke Effiong 32 Shedrack Asiegbu 21 Obi Samson
Subs: 33 Uche Okafor 3 Ubong Williams 12 Ifeanyi Onyeali 20 Uduak Idemokon 23 Atu Irumekhai 30 Chinedu Efugh 32 Ozioma Goodluck
BOOKED: Shedrack Asiegbu, Abiodun Adebayo
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