Christian Obiozor, didn’t play for Enyimba
Former CAF Champions League winners, Enyimba, moved into the summit of the Glo
Premier League (Nigeria Professional Football League) for the first time this
season after forcing southeast neighbours, Rangers, to a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Pre-match
analysis favoured Enyimba to complete the double on Rangers due to their
impressive run in the top division this season so far, and the fact that they
had made stellar additions to their intimidating squad.
Enyimba
coach, Kadiri Ikhana, gave mid-season signing, Musa Najere, his debut in the
blue colours of the club while record league goalscorer, Mfon Udoh, returned to
the match day squad for the first time since May.
Coach
of Rangers, Imama Amapakabo, also surprisingly gave out-of-favour Super Eagles
goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim the nod ahead of Itodo Akor in the startlist.
Rangers
made the first impression as Onoriode Odah should have given them the lead but
Enyimba keeper Femi Thomas went down well to make a one-handed save from a
one-on-one situation.
But
Odah made amends for his earlier miss by scooping a header over Thomas for the
opening goal just nine minutes after kick-off. It was 1-0 to Rangers with
Enyimba faithful stunned into silence.
It
took the Peoples Elephant 28 minutes to restore parity. A well-planned move by
Enyimba around the box freed Markson Ojobo on the right, who squared into the
near post for Najere to convert unmarked past Agbim to put the score at 1-1.
That
was the much the game produced in terms of goals as the two teams shared the
points. Enyimba have now opened a point lead at the top of the league table
having earned 37 points while Rangers stay rooted in 10th place with 28 points.
Leaders
before match day 20, Sunshine Stars, dropped to second place after suffering a
shock one-nil defeat at FC Taraba. Stephen Adah scored from a rebound just
before half time after Ibrahim Sanusi’s penalty kick struck the woodwork and
bounced into play for the striker to tap home.
Another
team in the top-four, Wikki, also failed to win by playing out a goalless draw
with Heartland. Wikki are now third while Heartland remain in fifth place.
Giwa
FC eased past Kwara United by a lone goal in Jos through Charles Henlong’s
second half goal. The win takes the Jos-based club to fourth position with 34
points.
League
defending champions, Kano Pillars, edged Lobi Stars 2-1 to give their new
coach, Mohammed Baba Ganaru a welcome win. Rabiu Ali and Shehu Shagari scored
for Pillars in the opening 35 minutes before Tony Okpotu netted Lobi’s goal
three minutes into the second half. Pillars have climbed into seventh place but
Lobi have now dropped into the bottom-four.
Shooting
Stars held out well at El-Kanemi for 65 minutes before succumbing to Abraham
Audu’s goal that proved to be the winner for the Maiduguri club.
Two
other matches ended in score draws of 1-1. FC Ifeanyiubah held Abia Warriors in
a derby while Akwa United had to wait until added time to see Aniekpeno Udoh’s
goal cancel Bayelsa United’s lead.

Have your say. We'd love to know what you think.