NPFL: Abia Warriors Conquer Rangers In Oriental Derby

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Abia Warriors secured a valuable 2-0 victory against Rangers International in match day 32 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), claiming bragging rights in the famous Oriental Derby at the Okigwe Township Stadium on Sunday.

Both teams needed a result from the game for different reasons; Warriors to stay afloat in another fight against relegation and Rangers, to keep themselves in pole position for the final continental spot.

With just seconds left in a cagey first half, Warriors went in front when the club’s top scorer Valentine Odoh headed home Kabiru Muhammad’s free kick, his eleventh goal of the campaign.

Abia Warriors came out firing early in the second half and they were rewarded for their pressure. Odoh became provider three minutes after the restart when he spearheaded a counter attack on the right, before finding Paul Samson who maintained composure before finding the bottom right.

Rangers huffed and puffed after a raft of substitutions by Maikaba, but Warriors’ resilient defence kept the scores at 2-0.  Amapakabo, a former Rangers coach was pleased with how the game turned out for his team.

“It’s always nice when we play against a team that we know are going to be tactical so we knew it was going to be one of such and we planned for it,” Abia Warriors head coach Imama Amapakabo said after the match.

Abia Warriors head coach Imama Amapakabo

“I told my players that in games like these, chances are going to be few and far between so it depends on when they come, how well we are able to take those chances. We did a little bit of study of their team and we knew that they had problems in their wing back positions,” Amapakabo added.

“They were playing a centre back from right back and a right back at left back so we knew they had problems there and we tried to exploit it,”

Sunday’s win lifts Amapakabo’s side to 12th on the log with a crucial trip to champions-in-waiting Rivers United up next for them in Port Harcourt next match day. 

 NPFL Results

Heartland 1-0 Akwa Utd

Abia Warriors 2-0 Rangers

Niger Tornadoes 2-1 Enyimba FC

Kwara Utd 2-0 Katsina United

MFM FC 0-0 Lobi Stars

Dakkada FC 2-0 Shooting Stars

Plateau United 1-0 Kano Pillars

Remo Stars 1-0 Gombe United FC

Sunshine Stars 2-1 Nasarawa United

Wikki Tourist 1-0 Rivers United.


Chidi Nwoke/NPFL.

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