Abia Warriors opened their 2019/2020 NPFL campaign with a routine 2-0 win over Katsina United FC who were led by former handler Henry Makinwa at the Umuahia Township Stadium. Jimoh Oni opened scoring in the 7th minute from a well taken free kick who curled beyond Katsina’s Aliko in goal, and grabbed his brace in the 47th minute after a beautiful assist from Philip Auta.
In Okigwe, MFM FC became the first team to pick maximum points on the road this term after inflicting a 0-1 defeat on former Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu and his Heartland FC side. Clememt Ogwu’s 37th minute strike sealed victory for the Church Boys and new manager Tony Bulus.
Meanwhile the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano saw no goals, as Kano Pillars were held to a shock goalless draw by Rivers United. Captain Rabiu Ali sat out for the fixture as he began serving his 12 match ban imposed on him by the League Management Company (LMC) after his altercation with the referee in last season’s Super six tournament in Lagos.
In Warri, Samuel Amadu scored the fastest goal so far this season with a 2nd minute strike for Warri Wolves against Akwa United. The lead lasted for 30 minutes, before last season’s joint top scorer Mfon Udoh leveled the tie, as both sides shared the spoils.
However, new boys Akwa Starlets gave a good account of themselves on their debut in the league, with a 1-1 against host Delta Force. The NNL Champions drew first blood in the 50th minute through the boot of Isaac George, but parity was restored by the Ambassadors in the 78th minute through Bala Yahuza.
It was goals galore in Jos, as 2017 league champions Plateau United beat Lobi Stars 3-1. A goal from Nerot Silas and an own goal from Solomon Kwambe set the tone for the Peace Boys, but Sikiru Alimi halved the deficit from the penalty spot, before Amos Gyan erased any hopes of a fight back with the third goal for Abdu Maikaba’s side.
Match Week One Results
FC Ifeanyi Ubah 1-0 Adamawa United
Warri Wolves 1-1 Akwa United
Abia Warriors 2-0 Katsina United
Wikki Tourists 2-1 Jigawa G’Stars
Kano Pillars 0-0 Rivers United
Delta Force 1-1 Akwa Starlets
Heartland FC 0-1 MFM FC
Plateau United 3-1 Lobi Stars
Match Reactions – What did the Coaches and players say!
Abia Warriors Coach – Emmanuel Deutsche
“We have played the match, we won this one so wee will forget about it, the three points is important for the fans in Umuahia and Abia Warriors, but now we shift our focus to our next game in Akwa Ibom.”
Katsina United Coach – Henry Makinwa
“We lost gallantly, my boys played very well, we had hard luck scoring goals, the first attempt we had if Nurudeen had scored the goal it would have changed the face of the game. Tactically I saw a balanced game, we dominated the midfield but had some poor finishing, they had the chances, the first a free kick they scored and the second goal was like a normal goal in a football game, so congratulations to Abia Warriors.”
Katsina United Captain – Usman
I thank God Almighty Allah because this is the first game, this is the beginning, if you see the game it was balanced, the only problem we had today were the referees in the first half who were confused, AR1 and AR2 and the center referees were the only problem. This is the beginning, my players, coach and officials did well, this is a fantastic start, because if we go back home we will think about our next match against Enyimba and we will correct all our mistakes before the tie.”