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Abia Warriors in slim win over Rivers United

Michael Olaha scored on 24th minutes to settle a scrappy Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) contest between Abia Warriors and Rivers United on Sunday.

The Warriors won 1-0 in a game that promised so much but delivered so little from the perspective of genuine quality and aesthetic football.

Heavy rains before kick-off rendered large sections of the pitch at the Umuahia Township Stadium almost unplayable.

As a result, both sides, famed for attractive, possession-based football, struggled to bring their optimum game to the table.

“We could not do what we were supposed to do because the pitch was water-logged.

“As a result, we had to alter our game plan by playing the ball into our opponents’ half and fighting them there,” Warriors head coach, Kennedy Boboye explained to Rivers United Media moments after the game.

The hosts should have doubled their lead in the final minute of added time after Rivers United conceded a penalty wit captain, Austin Festus handling the ball in the box.

Second half substitute, Chisom Chikatara produced a tame shot which was saved by the United goal keeper, Sunday Rotimi.

“I was over confident. I thought that I had scored already. That’s why I missed,” Chikatara said of his shocking effort from 12 yards.

United never found their rhythm in the game and Eguma, like Boboye, blamed the conditions of the pitch.

“We have lost and there is nothing we can do about it.

“It’s unfortunate because we prepared to win but we came here (Umuahia) and met a stumbling g block which is the pitch,” he said.

The defeat sees United fall to sixth on the standings with 28 points from 17 matches while Abia Warriors rose two places and now occupy second place with 30 points from 16 matches.

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