Aba – Enyimba FC have retained the Abia State FA Cup following a 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory over their arch rivals, Abia Warriors in the final of the 2015 edition after scores stood at 1-1 after regulation time.
Enyimba, who are also the national champions, took a 37th minute lead in Umuahia when Chinonso Okonkwo nodded in a Daniel Etor corner, despite having a flurry of chances, Abia Warriors could not equalize, allowing the Peoples Elephant go into the tunnel with the 1-0 advantage.
Three minutes after resumption, Chisom Chikatara became the hero for Abia Warriors when he netted the leveler after Enyimba goalkeeper Femi Thomas palmed a harmless ball unto his path.
Tried as they could, the two sides could not find a breakthrough until centre referee Benjamin Okporie blow off the game after regulation time signaling for a penalty shoot-out.
Chikatara turned from hero to villain when he lost the crucial kick that would have handed the trophy to his side. Before his kick, Enyimba’s Mfom Udoh and Idris Aloma had lost their kicks as only Markson Ojobo, Etor and Sikiru Kamal could beat Joseph Onuoha, while Bolaji Sakin, Binaebi Johnson and Emeka Joseph had scored for the Warriors as only captain Austin Obaroakpo lost his chance.
Also read: Abia Warriors book FA Cup state final spot
Chikatara had the arduous task of scoring to enable the Warriors reclaim the trophy won in 2013 but lost to the same opponents in last year’s final. However, he could not carry the responsibility as he shot tamely into the waiting hands of Femi Thomas who threw the game into sudden death and it was the Aba boys that proved superior.
Captain Chinedu Udoji and Ifeanyi Anaemena scored while Warriors’ Atu Irumekhai missed the crucial kick after Ali Buhari had made it 4-4.
In his reaction, Abia Warrior’s Technical Adviser Ladan Bosso said the outcome of the match was the will of God as his boys were not disgraced.
According to him, penalty shoot-out in any competition could go either way, commending his boys for giving Enyimba a good fight.
Bosso said attention will now shift to the league where the Warriors will host Wikki Tourist of Bauchi this weekend.For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.