Striker Jimoh Oni scored the opening goal of the match in the 50th minute, his third of the season, but it was not enough to assure victory for the hosts. Only eight minutes later, the visitors were back on level terms through Obo Eso Archibong.
After the final whistle, Oni’s sad countenance betrayed his deep dissatisfaction with the 1-1 draw, even though he admitted that the game was “tough”.
“We played a very good side, they are doing well (in the league) and we are also trying, so it was a tough game. The game was balanced,” Oni told npfl.ng.
He added: “But my own game, I just need to improve and work more so that I can be able to offer more. I tried, but I need to do better in terms of scoring goals. I need to score goals, more goals to help my team.”
While Akwa Starlets remained in third position in the league table with the draw, Abia Warriors dropped to ninth place from sixth.
WE CAME FOR A POINT
On his part, Akwa Starlets’ Archibong, hailed the draw as an important one for his Uyo-based side.
“I think today’s game was very important for us. After losing at home, we just had to psyche ourselves up to make sure we got at least a point here to help boost our morale and keep us in a good position again,” he told npfl.ng.
“I think what helped us today is that we fought together, we played like a team, we didn’t relent from the beginning to the end. That was the secret of our result today,” he added.
ONI EYES VICTORY AT LOBI
In the seven matches so far this season, Abia Warriors have only lost once – in addition to two wins and four draws. They are now unbeaten in three consecutive games from which they have managed five points from a possible nine.
But their next opponents, Lobi Stars have not lost in five straight matches (three wins and two draws). And the Makurdi-based side has shown ruthlessness on their home turf so far, scoring seven and conceding none in two matches.
Oni is however adamant that the Warriors can get a result at the Aper Aku Stadium. “I’m not sure we are going to lose again. We are going all out and we will make sure we win. We need three points because we are contesting for the league title, and this season we really need to do better.”
STARLETS LEARN FROM DEFEAT TO PILLARS
On the other hand, up next for Akwa Starlets is a date with the league’s most successful club, Enyimba at their Nest of Champions, as they look to return to winning ways.
“I think that we have learnt our lessons from the Kano Pillars game now. Our fans are expecting nothing short of victory and that is what we have to give in the game against Enyimba,” Archibong said.