Abia Warriors captain, Ndifreke Effiong was the hero, as his side ended MFM FC’s unbeaten home run after a hard-fought 1-0 win in the NPFL on Sunday.
Effiong scored the only goal in the second half, to give the Warriors their first away win of the season.
It was his eighth goal in the NPFL, making him Warriors’ top scorer.
Speaking to aclsports.com after the game, Effiong said; “I feel very good because in training, we do scoring drills and I thank God for the goal.”
The host dominated the first half, but couldn’t make it count as they failed to convert the few chances that came their way.
Fidelis Ilechukwu’s side came close on a couple of occasions through enterprising wide forward, Akinyemi Nojeem, but it wasn’t until the 40th minute that they created their best chance via a corner kick.
However, the visitors were resolute and cleared the ball off the line to ensure that both sides went into the break on level terms.
After the break, the Olukoya Boys started the brightest, but despite making some early changes, it was the away side who found the breakthrough six minutes into the second 45.
A loose ball from midfield fell kindly to Effiong, who beat the MFM defense before calmly slotting past Isaac Jerry, in goal for the home side, to put the away team 1-0 up.
Warriors looked comfortable thereafter, handling everything thrown at them by their host.
MFM had a chance late into the second half to draw level, but it went begging before Warriors nearly doubled their advantage but Emeka Isaac blazed his shot well wide with the goalkeeper at his mercy.
MFM almost snatched a point in added time, but Warriors’ goalkeeper, Uche Okafor was alert to parry the ball to corner, which came to naught.
The away side held on for the win, their first away victory of the season, to complete the double over MFM, who lost at home for the first time in two years.
“I feel we’ll continue like this,” Warriors’ coach, Emmanuel Deutcsh, said. “The boys are picking up, i see a good character in the team.”
That result sees Warriors move up to eighth on the league table on 29points, while MFM drop two places to 13th, two points behind the Umuahia side.
Up next for both teams, MFM are off to Ilorin, where they tackle Kwara United, while Abia Warriors host El-Kanemi Warriors in Umuahia.