Katsina United again failed to get a point from Umuahia as Abia Warriors clinched the three points, thanks to Jimoh Oni’s double strike on the opening day of the 2019/20 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.
Oni struck first on the 8th minute, when he drilled a free-kick from 20 yards beyond Mustapha Aliko and followed up two minutes into the second half with another goal off a Phillip Auta’s through pass.
The home side handed debut to Cameroonian Parfait Jean in defence, and settled for a 4-4-2 formation, with Oni and Atilola Tunde leading the charge.
Despite dominating most of the first half, the visitors could not find the back of the net, as they were wasteful upfront. Captain of the side Usman Barau and Destiny Ashadi were outstanding for the ‘Changi boys’, leaving Shedrack Asiegbu and Fatai Abdullahi with no option than pecking back for most of the half.
Tasiu Lawal had an opportunity to put Coach Henry Makinwa’s side in front as early as the 5th minute, but could not make it count after Abia’s goalkeeper Godsgift Elkanah parried Nurudeen Ibrahim’s effort to his path.
Aside from Oni’s goal earlier, the second half did not provide further opportunities and goals.
Coach of the winning side, Emmanuel Deutsche told www.npfl.ng after the game that the victory came through hard work and said that their focus has shifted to the next game away to Akwa United FC in Uyo.
“We are delighted with the win, but it did not come easy. There were few lapses we have observed and we will do our best to fix them immediately. As you can see we won today, attention now shifts to the next game against Akwa United. We hope to build on this positive result”, he noted.
The win puts Abia Warriors level on point at the top with Plateau United. Katsina United welcome champions Enyimba of Aba at home on match day 2.
Match Day 1 Results
FCIU 1-0 Adamawa United
Goal: Samuel Kalu 41′
Warri Wolves 1-1 Akwa Utd
Goals: Wolves: Samuel Amadi 2’ – Akwa United: Mfon Udoh 28’
Abia Warriors 2-0 Katsina Utd
Goals: Jimoh Oni 8’, 47’
Wikki 2-1 Jigawa Stars
Goals: Wikki: Saidu Abubakar 47’, Idris Guda 61’ – Jigawa; Lala Abdullahi 15’
Kano Pillars 0-0 Rivers Utd
Delta Force 1-1 Akwa Starlets
Goals: Delta: Bala Yahuza 78’ – Starlets; Isaac George 50’
Heartland 0-1 MFM
Goal: Clement Ogwu 39’
Plateau Utd 3-1 Lobi
Goals: Plateau; Nerot Silas 12’, Solomon Kwambe 27’ (og), Amos Gyang 67’ – Sikiru Alimi 32’ (PEN)