Ani Chigozie’s last minute penalty earned Abia Comets a 1-nil win over Gateway United at Umuahia Township Stadium in the matchday 17 of the 2020/2021 Nigeria National League.
Six changes were made to the squad that drew against Holy Arrows in the last home game with Okechukwu Promise, Abawula Anthony, Olasoji Gbenga, Okoro Obinna, Okeke Ebuka and Mohammed Hamal joining the fray.
The game started so calmly with both sides being cautious in the first twenty minutes but the caution was thrown to the wind as Paul Adeyemo rose highest to nod in an indirect freekick in the 23rd minute which the referee overruled for offside.
Afterwards, the homers did turn on the pressure with dangerous balls in the visitors’ areas but the solidity in the Hakeem Busari tutored side’s defence kept their hosts at bay.
The first half ended with Oronsaye James’ nice attempt, spinning a loose ball at the edge of the box, thereby forcing Salami Kelvin to a positional save.
Proceedings resumed in the second half as both sides kept searching for an opener but it was the hosts who pulled more of the strings as in the 70th minute when Paul Adeyemo drilled a right footed low effort which went a few inches shy of goal.
In what appeared to be the last minute of the game, Comets were awarded a penalty after Aleem Adebayo tried to dispossess Paul Adeyemo in the box. Resultingly, Ani Chigozie stepped up and sent Araromi Ibukun the wrong way. That made the sole difference as Abia Comets secured the maximum points.
Up next for Gateway United is a home clash against Bayelsa United on Saturday 22nd May, 2021.