Adeshina Gata shone like a million stars on Sunday at the Kwara stadium complex as his brace guided Abubakar Bukola Saraki ABS FC to a resounding 2-1 victory over visiting Abia Warriors FC in week 37 of the Nigeria Professional Football League.
The victory kept ABS FC’s hope of staying up alive with the Ilorin based outfit now one point adrift of safety with one matchday left before the end of the league season.
Abia Warriors went in front in the fourth minute when Moses Omoduemuke finished a well executed counterattack to put the visitors ahead.
The Saraki Boys after going behind woke up from their slumber and dictated most of the proceedings in the first half.
Wasiu Alalade and Ossy Martin both missed gilt edged opportunities as the visitors went into the break 1-0 up against their hosts.
ABS came out stronger in the second half and it looked obvious from there on that a goal will come in so soon. After six minutes into the 2nd half, Adeshina Gata tapped home a goal mouth scramble to level the scores.
The stadium erupted when Alalade beat Abia Warriors defenders to score, but the assistant referee had raised his flag for offside to cut the striker and his fans celebration shot in the 74th minute.
There was mild drama in the 77th minute when the centre referee sent off Abiodun Adebayo and the Abia Warriors player refused to leave the pitch, an action that triggered tension around the stadium as the Saraki Boys fans booed the visitors.
Gata completed his brace with one minute left on the clock, when he headed past Chinedu Anozie in goal for Abia Warriors to put the final score at 2-1 and send the fans at the stadium into wild jubilation. The goal was Gata’s fifth goal in as many matches after he scored hat-trick in the 6-3 demolition of Adamawa United feeders in round of 32 of the Aiteo Cup last Wednesday.
After helping his side secure a late win, Gaga who spoke to naijafootballplus.com is very optimistic ABS will fight it through in the last game and retain their NPFL status.
“Thank God for this wonderful hard-fought victory over Abia Warriors. They made life so difficult for us but thank God we were able to smile and jubilate at the end of the game. Our next game against Nasarawa United will be very difficult but I’m optimistic we will get something vital and positive in that encounter but our faith is 50% in our hands. I hope the results elsewhere favour us.
“Thank God for the brace. It’s another major step in my career. I’m so much happy with my goalscoring form but it would have meant a lot for me if we escaped relegation this season. I would continue to put in my very best for my team and so help me God”, Gata concluded.
The result meant Abia Warriors who are fifteenth on the log with 50 points have to beat Rivers United on match day 38 to survive been relegated to the lower division.
While the Saraki Boys boys who are 18th with 49 points will travel to Lafia, bearing in mind that a victory for them will ensure their safety depending on results elsewhere.