Abia Warriors earned a priceless point in the televised game against Lobi Stars with a valiant display at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi on Sunday.
The 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League Match Day seven contest ended 0-0 and although credit must go to every member of the Abia Warriors side for their efforts which might have saved head coach Imama Amapakabo’s job for at least the next three days, three players caught the eyes of our Football Chief Fisayo Dairo for their impeccable contribution to the draw.
1. Olorunleke Ojo:
The former U20 international showed why he has been rated as one of the best goalkeepers this term in spite of his team’s bad run. Ojo overcame a nervy first five minutes to produce three excellent saves in the second half which secured the points for his team.
The pick of those saves was a superb low effort by Lobi Stars substitute Segun Alebiosu which Ojo, at full stretch, turned away before it could creep into the bottom corner. At that point, it was evidently a point sealed for the Warriors.
2. Ibukun Harrison:
A former Akwa United player like Ojo, Harrison was in monstrous form on Sunday, dealing with plenty of missiles hurled at his side by Lobi players. He forged a good partnership with Adekunle Adeleke at the centre back role throughout the game and ensured that Chinonso Okonkwo had little joy in the game.
It is interesting to note that Harrison did not start the season as first choice but has held on to his spot in the team since making a scoring debut against Akwa United on Match Day 3. Performances such as today’s explains why.
You can see what that result means for @AbiaWarriors coach, Imama Amapakabo. He was given a 3️⃣match ultimatum, all 3️⃣games ended in draws, 2️⃣of which were on the road.— ACLSports (@acl_sports) January 31, 2021
Will that be enough to save his job? The celebrations at the end suggest so. #YourSportsMemo #LOBABI pic.twitter.com/H98dwIr1nT
3. The rest:
Other Abia Warriors players really deserved equal mentions for their contributions in the point, ironically extending their unbeaten run now to three matches; all draws.
Right back Innocent Gabriel was arguably the best Warrior in the first half when he gave Lobi left back Ebube Duru plenty of problems down that flank. Although he was overwhelmed in the second half, he still deserves a worthy mention.
Midfielders Daniel Wotlai and the effervescent Fatai Abdullahi were also at the top of their games while left back Goodluck Ozioma and Harrison’s centre defensive partner Adeleke must also not go unmentioned.
Up next for Abia Warriors is another difficult tie against in-form Sunshine Stars at the Okigwe Stadium on Wednesday. Amapakabo will be hoping his wards produce such spirited display while crowning it with goals against Gbenga Ogunbote’s side.