Visiting Plateau United FC of Jos on Sunday held host Abia Warriors FC to a 1-1 draw in the Match Day 11 of the Nigeria Professional Football League played at the Umuahia Township Stadium.
Thw News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Coach Adenrele Adewumi-tutored side approached the game lackadaisically and were punished for it by Plateau forward, Oche Ochowechi, whose left strike in the seventh minute caught Warriors’ goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo sprawling full length to no avail.
The goal, however, appeared to have fired the Umuahia-based team on as they took control of the game but failed to take their chances before the end of the first 45 minutes.
The team sustained their push until the 77th minute when Sampson Obi converted a free kick a few meters away from the edge of the penalty box to give the scanty fans cause to cheer.
Visibly elated Oche told NAN in a post-match interview that he dedicated the goal to his late father, Salefu, who, according to him, was buried on Saturday.
He said: “I wanted to score a goal here so that I will dedicate it to my father who died in January and was buried yesterday (Saturday).”
Coach Abdu Maikaba expressed happiness that his team pulled a draw but said that his ambition was to garner the entire three points in Umuahia.
Maikaba said his team had difficulty playing their game on the Umuahia turf, which he described as unfit for serious football.
“The pitch is not good. It is not level,” he said, pointing out that some areas caved in while others were sloppy.
“It will be better for Abia Warriors to relocate to Enyimba Stadium, Aba because every club needs a good pitch to be able to win its home matches,” he said.
Reacting to the outcome of the match, Adewumi said he was sad that his players could not pick the three points at stake.
He said he had no answer for the players’ obvious lacklustre approach to the game, especially in the first half.
“I feel very bad. It was a tough game,” he said, adding: “I don’t know why the players did not hunger for goals.
“They are in a position to explain because everyday we come here to train and I do my best to prepare them for the game ahead.”