A late own goal by Chinedu James helped Abia Warriors to a 2-1 win at home to visiting Lobi Stars of Makurdi in a Matchday 13 fixture of the Nigeria Professional Football League played at the Umuahia Township Stadium yesterday.
The visitors looked determined to wrestle a point off Abdullahi Biffo's side, after Kingsley Eduwo had drew them level shortly after Anthony Okemmiri's effort gave the home side the lead in the 10th minute.
Okemmiri got on the end of Sunday Adetunji's brilliant pass to square home from 12 yards and put his side in front. Lobi responded swiftly in the 14th minute through Kingsley Eduwo, who calmly tapped in Tony Okpotu's clever pass.
The game was delayed for five minutes after the half hour mark, when Adetunji clashed with the visiting goalkeeper, Okiemute Odah. Adetunji managed to pull through to continue, but Okiemute was not as lucky as John Lawrence came on for him.
Abia Warriors pushed for the winner immediately after resumption, despite heavy downpour witnessed at the stadium, but were almost caught in the 55th minute when a quick counter-attack left Eduwo with an opportunity for a second. The striker however shot wide from 10 yards.
The hosts kept pushing further as substitutes Godwin Zaki and Bashir Sheriff missed glaring opportunities in quick succession just before the hour mark.
Kalu Nweke struck the woodwork in the 65th minute, and also failed to get the ball between the sticks in the 72nd minute, despite having no man to beat.
The home side would wait till the 84th minute for the winner, when Okemmiri's telling cross, was turned in by James.
The win moves Abia Warriors to eighth on the log, a point adrift of Lobi Stars, who have amassed 19 from 13 games.