Abia Warriors, Plateau United debate penalty call
Abia Warriors defeated league leaders Plateau United 2-1, thanks to a late penalty converted by the home team.
Abia Warriors’ substitute Bashir Sheriff however came to the home team’s rescue in the game’s dying minutes when he was upended in the penalty box by a United defender.
Asiegbu converted the resultant penalty kick in the fifth minute of final added time to throw the team’s supporters, players and their handlers into wild jubilation.
Abia Warriors coach Abdullahi Biffo said he had feared the game was heading for a draw, but the victory had restored his players’ confidence after the poor results from their last two matches.
He rated the visiting team high, saying they gave a good account of themselves.
-They proved why they are occupying the top of the log.’
The coach dismissed the contention that the penalty kick was awarded under controversial circumstances, saying the infringement was glaring.
Plateau United captain Golbe Elisha, who said the team lost gallantly, took exception to the penalty kick awarded to Abia Warriors.
Elisha alleged biased officiating against his side, saying that the penalty kick was awarded in the sixth minute of added time, one minute beyond the acceptable time.
-Aside from the delay tactics by ball boys at the time the home team was leading by one goal, the officiating was also to Abia Warriors’ advantage.
-It is disappointing and a sad development for our league that a team would travel a long distance and give its best on the field of play only to be denied victory through partial officiating, he said.