Nigeria Professional Football League campaigners, Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia and FC Ifeanyi Ubah will meet in the first semi-final of the on- going South-East/South-South pre-season football tournament tomorrow with the aim of picking the final ticket.
To reach this stage, FC Ifeanyi Ubah topped group ‘B’ with seven points after defeating neighbours Enugu Rangers International 1-0 in their last group game decided earlier today at the Fc Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium, Nnewi, and having already made it to the last four following their victories over Inter fc of Enugu and Heartland of Owerri in group ‘A’, Abia Warriors Manager, Rafael Everton decided to give opportunity to a new set of players in their last group game against Rivers United and although the boys tried to hold their own, the Umuahia Warriors narrowly lost 0-1 with Nonso Elum grabbing the only goal shortly before the hour mark as the Pride of Rivers took the supreme position.
Abia Warriors and FC Ifeanyi Ubah are no strangers to each other as their six meetings in the last three seasons in Nigeria’s top flight produced only one win while the other five ended in draws.
The last time we saw a winner was way back in July 2015 when Ndifreke Effiong’s lone strike proved decisive for the Umuahia landlords at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba in their first ever meeting.
Since then, it has been five consecutive draws( three in Nnewi and two at Umuahia). That means that Abia Warriors have never lost to Ifeanyi Ubah even at Nnewi, venue of today’s semi-final encounter and the fact that the Umuahia Warriors would like to maintain the status quo, would make the game more than a mere friendly.
The second semi-final also at the same venue tomorrow will be a repeat of the Rivers State 2017 FA Cup final as the surprise team of the tournament, Cynosure fc of Port Harcourt which placed second in group ‘B’ take on their more illustrious city rivals, Rivers United to decide who marches on to the final on Friday.