How Niger Tornadoes Neutralised Abia Warriors Arrows In Aiteo Cup Clash
By Our Correspondent
It was a battle between between Nigeria Professional Football League NPFL and Nigeria National League NNL sides with a ticket from quarter-final up for grab
The Aiteo Cup round of sixteen fixture involving Niger Tornadoes Football Club Of Minna and Abia Warriors of Umuahia Abia State, lived up to pre match hype, as both teams light up Aper Aku Stadium with exhilarating football spectacle.
From the technical and tactical prowess of the two Coaches on show, Imama and Bala, to the touch line drama, coupled with the exquisite football on display on the turf of Aper Aku Stadium.
Tornadoes might be playing in the NNL but that did not in a way reflect in their game, as they battled Abia Warriors, (a Premier League outfit) toe to toe in all aspects for the entire duration of the game.
18′ Lukman Mohammed, now known for scoring crucial goals when it matters, capitalizes on a goal mouth melee, after a corner kick by Augustine Bafan to smash the ball into the net for the opener.
41′ Abia Warriors Goal poacher Godwin Obaje levelled things up before the break with a powerful header.
Two changes were effected at half time, Ahmadu liman coming on for Lukman Mohammed, while Lukas Yahaya takes the place of Abdulkadir Zango who was battling a groin.
59′ After a fine team play with an increased tempo, Tornadoes went ahead again after Shamsudeen Hashim was hacked down inside the box and Peter Momoh converted the resulting penalty kick.
The atmosphere became tensed as the warriors continued to search for an equalizer but Lucky Abdullahi produced some eye-catching saves to keep the score.
66′ pressure paid off for the Ikon Allah Boys when Ahmadu Liman connect to Munir Idris’ well worked pass, to slot home for the third goal and threw the entire Tornadoes bench into a wild jubilation.
74′ When the game looked but buried Hammed Yakubu stroke to make it 2-3 giving the warriors some hope for a come back.
Bello Raji Egigogo was subbed on for injured Babatunde Solomon to help steady ship as the clock continued to click
The five additional minutes looked like another 90 minute, but the Ikon Allah Boys kept all pressures at bay, to clinch victory and booked a quarter final date.
Post Match Reaction: Coach Abubakar Bala
what’s your take on the game?
“Well, it was a difficult game as anticipated, Abia Warriors is a great side with a good Coach, but we were prepared for the battle, and that is the reason for this result”
After this game, what’s your next target?
“If you could recalled we were losing finalist on two occasions, 2017 & 2019, we want to go one step better this time around.” End
Meanwhile, Coach Abubakar Bala Mohammed has redeemed his earlier pledge of cash donation to the players for the win.