Abia Warriors FC lost their second match of the season as home side, Nasarawa United edged them 3-2 in an entertaining week 16 encounter that took place at the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi, Benue state.
After the Warriors missed two glaring opportunities that would have put them at the driver’s seat, Nasarawa took the lead against the run of play through hitman, Abdulrahman Bashir in the 18th minute, but youngster Michael Olaha superbly drew the Warriors level with the last kick of the half as he chipped over on-rushing home goalkeeper, Danlami Umar.
The Umuahia team suffered a major psychological blow when they conceded in the first minute of the second half through skipper Emmanuel Makama who converted a penalty awarded his side by the center referee from Sokoto state, Bala Marwa.
But Warriors’ top scorer this season, Ndifreke Effiong, made it 2-2 in the 56th minute for his fifth league goal so far and after Warriors winger, Stanley Okoro was sent off for what the referee termed as ungentlemanly behavior, Bashir struck again in the 75th minute to complete his brace and it turned out to be the winner.
The Warriors had the opportunity to draw level but wasted the chances as the referee blew off the game.
Nasarawa United coach Dogo Abdulahi said he was disappointed the way his defenders let in goals, but praised his front men for living up to expectations.
Chijioke Osuagwu, who spoke on behalf of the Abia Warriors bench, expressed reservations over the officiating of the game insisting that the red card disorganized his side and tactics.
Osuagwu, who led Abia Warriors from the National League to the Premiership three seasons ago, however promised that his side will get it right in their subsequent encounters.