Abia Warriors Football Club on Sunday scraped a 2-1 victory against hard-fighting Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) leaders, Plateau United FC.
It was in the Match Day 25 fixture as Warriors denied the leaders an an opportunity to create an eight point lead.
In the match played at the Umuahia Township Stadium, Abia Warriors took the lead in the sixth minute of the game.
Midfielder Chukwunyere Asiegbu fired a powerful shot into the net from a few metres outside the visitors’ goal area.
Thereafter, Plateau United made frantic efforts to draw level but their strikers took turns to fluff glaring goal scoring chances toward the end of the first half.
They resumed the second half dictating the pace, attacking and pushing the home side to their defence.
Their efforts were rewarded in the 79th minute, when Hamza Owolabi scored the equaliser with a shot from a long throw-in within the Warriors’ goal area.
Abia Warriors’ substitute Bashir Sheriff however came to the home team’s rescue in the game’s dying minutes when he was fouled in the penalty box by a United defender.
Asiegbu converted the resultant penalty kick in the fifth minute of added time to throw the team’s supporters, players and their handlers into wild jubilation.
In another match of the day, Kano Pillars Football Club defeated visiting MFM FC of Lagos 3-1 in Kano. MFM FC are third on the table with 40 points, five adrift from Plateau United.
In Maiduguri, El Kanemi Warriors snatched the second place from MFM by beating visiting bottom of the league, Remo Stars 2-0.
The match in Kano was played behind closed doors following the sanction on the hosts by the League Management Company (LMC) for crowd disturbances.
Pillars’ team captain, Rabiu Ali, opened scores in the 12th minute through a penalty kick, while Stephen Odey equalised for the visitors in the 54th minute..
Amos Gyang and Adamu Muhammad scored in the 83rd and 90th minutes to take the game beyond the reach of the hard-fighting visitors.
Speaking at the post-match interview, coach Ibrahim Musa of Kano Pillars gave kudos to his players for winning the game against an experienced team.
He said the victory would boost his team’s morale towards making great impact in the league this year.
On his part, coach Fidelis Ilechukwu of MFM FC said he was not happy with the officiating of the game.
“I am not happy with the officiating of the whole match.
“But we are going back to the drawing board to prepare for the remaining league matches,’’ he said.
Here is the standing of all the teams after Day 25: