Kadiri’s spot kick make the difference as Enyimba sink Abia Warriors
The exchanges were even until the 52nd minute when Samad Kadiri converted from the spot to give Enyimba a 1-0 victory over Abia Warriors in the first Abia derby of the 2020/2021 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).
Yesterday’s match in Aba was significant as it marked Imama Amapakabo’s first game in charge of Abia Warriors. Enyimba, who were beaten 0-3 in Omdurman by Al Merreikh in the CAF Champions League at the weekend, needed a good outing yesterday to assure their fans they were not in for a bad season. But they met an Abia Warriors side that had ambitions of their own, armed with a coach that knows how to win important games.
Amapakabo, who led Enugu Rangers to their first league title in 30 years in the 2016, has been tasked with getting the Umuahia-based Warriors their first continental ticket in their history. And to achieve that, he knew he must win such games as the one they had against Enyimba. That, he set out to do.
The teams entered the pitch with all guns blazing, but Enyimba had the better of proceedings and should have gone two up before the break. Much of the early accolades went to Abia Warriors goalkeeper, Ojo Olorunleke, who stood between Enyimba and the goods.
When Enyimba put the ball in the net through a Samad Kadiri’s long range effort, it was ruled off by referee Ferdinand Udoh over a foul on Adekunle Adeleke.
The Peoples Elephant were not to be denied for long as Kadiri finally got his goal off the penalty spot in the 52nd minute. Today in Port Harcourt, Rivers United will host Enugu Rangers in the last game of NPFL matchday one.
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