Stone’s brace sinks Warriors in Aba

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By Promise Etim
Abia Warrior’s hopes of securing their first win of the campaign was put to the shelves as visiting Jigawa Golden Stars secured a famous 3-1 win, with striker Samuel Stone grabbing a brace  at the Enyimba Stadium, Aba on Wednesday.

Coach Imama Amakapabo had hoped to build on the positives of the narrow defeat away to Akwa United in Uyo on Sunday, as he named an unchanged side for the visit of the Dutse based side.

Determined to put behind their disappointing defeat at home to Rangers International on Sunday, the visitors made five changes to the previous matchday squad, with Pape Idris, Ibrahim Umar, Olasunkami Qudiri, Yusuf Abdulahi preferred.

The home side got the game to a perfect start, securing the lead inside six minutes, when Utibe Arit Archibong rose highest to head Nzugbe Anaezemba’s cross beyond Paul Godwin.

Olasunkami Qudiri brought jigawa level on 24 minutes, when he took advantage of a scramble in the penalty area, to square past Warrior’s goalkeeper, Vincent Edafe. Despite being pecked back from the half hour mark, the ‘Giant Killers’ managed to keep the score level to half time.

After the restart, Warriors would wait for the hour mark for a possible breakthrough. Nzugbe’s brilliant run into the box, caught Jigawa defenders napping. Olarewaju Abdulrahman upended the former Enyimba man, to concede a penalty. The home side could only cuddle their eyes in horror, as Fatai Abdullahi failed to make it count.

Confidence grew as Jigawa threw more men forward, switching to a 4-4-2 formation. The introduction of Peter Dogara and Mohammed Gidado changed the dynamics, as they took perfect control of proceedings.

The gamble paid off, as Stone was brilliantly located by Musa Ali. The former Go Round marksman calmly dislodged his marker, before drilling past Edafe in the 74th minute. The striker would only wait for another super team work, before gaining control to Mohammed Gidado’s flick, to beat Edafe for his brace on 85 minutes.

Jigawa’s head coach, Gilbert Opana, attributed the result to his side’s ability to adapt to desirable tactics.

“It was disappointing when we lost to Rangers at home. We had to shift a little from what we did in the previous three games. This is why we made as much as five changes and also adopted an attacking approach, rather than sitting back. The players perfectly reacted to this. We are happy with the result”, he told npfl.ng.

The win lifts Jigawa to eight on the log, while Abia Warriors, who are yet to record a single point, are bottom of the table.

 

Team News:

Abia Warriors XI: Edafe, Ojobo, Gabriel, Ogar, Harrison, Adeleke, Samson, Fatai, Utibe, Nzugbe, Obioma

Jigawa GS XI: Paul, Yakubu, James, Abdulrahman, Idris, Umar, Richard, Stone, Lala, Yusuf, Qudiri

STATS:

Shots 10-3

On Target 7-3

Corners 3-3

Fouls Won 21-18

Yellow 1-1

Red 0-0

Offsides 3-4

Saves 0-6

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