Abia Warriors' Okafor explains inspiration for penalty save

Shengol Pixs
The Warriors’ match hero against the Anambra Warriors has revealed what inspired his stoppage time spot kick save which earned them a draw

Abia Warriors' Uche Okafor has revealed what he told FC Ifeanyiubah penalty kick taker, Chidume Onyeka before the lost his spot-kick in Sunday's NPFL game which ended 1-1.

The Warriors had equalized Patrick Ikeokwu’s fifth-minute stunning opener for the hosts through Samson Obi in the 67th minute and were on losing when the referee spotted an infringement in the 87th minute in the vital area of the visitors.

But Okafor, who was a former goalkeeper of the Anambra Warriors, said he told Chidume that he would miss the spot kick as they are bent on returning to Umuahia with a point at least and that he was not surprised that the player was unable to hit the target.

“It would have been unjust for us to lose the match with the amount of effort we have put into it," Okafor told Goal.

"We started the game very well but they got their opening goal against the run of play. The goal came at the wrong time when we were trying to blend into the game but we were not bothered by it.

“The opening goal was a setback but we were told during the halftime to keep it simple and not be too much anxiety so that we won’t commit further blunders. Our patience paid off as we equalized through Samson (Obi).

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“Towards the dying moments of the game when they had a penalty I considered to be soft, I told myself that it was my time and that I must do everything possible to guess right. As a way of playing a mind game to confuse their penalty kick taker, I told him that he would miss the spot kick.

“He did, and we were all happy to gain our first road point of the season. The draw was just appropriate for our hard work throughout the game. It would have been painful to lose the game in such dramatic fashion.

“We will go back home and analyze what we ought to have done better during the match that we didn’t do and what we did right before our next home game with Wikki Tourists."