Enyimba FC took on Abia Warriors in an Abia derby on Matchday One of the new NPFL season on Tuesday at the Enyimba Stadium in Aba.
It was a huge derby match, one that opened the season for both sides, and it didn’t fail to deliver. Abia Warriors had failed to pick up a single point in 4 previous encounters with their city rivals, and they looked to change that.
Enyimba looked to secure the game early on, and in the 5th minute, they thought they had taken the lead through debutant, Samad Kadiri, but the referee adjudged that a foul was committed in the build up to the goal. Warriors’ keeper, Olorunleke Ojo was proving to be a wall, repelling every single advancement towards his goal to keep the scores level at half time.
Shortly after the interval, Enyimba got a chance to open the scoring after a handball was called in the Warriors’ penalty box. Samad Kadiri duly stepped up and sent Ojo the wrong way to score his first Enyimba goal on his debut. The Warriors provided little or no goalscoring threat, and Enyimba thought they had a second penalty in the 60th minute when Imo Obot was brought down by Ojo in the Warriors goal, but the assistant referee adjudged that Obot was offside as he ran into the box. Warriors coach, Imama Amapakabo, was booked for dissent as the game petered out.
It was a big win for Enyimba, following the 3-0 humbling they suffered in Sudan against Al Merrikh in the CAF Champions League preliminary stage.