Bendel Suffer First Defeat in 22 Games in the NPFL Super Six Matchday 4

Bendel Suffer First Defeat in 22 Games in the NPFL Super Six Matchday 4
Credit: @BendelInsurance Twitter

Matchday 4 in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Super Six Championship round took place on Friday at Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos. Since the Championship round began, followers of the NPFL have not seen an entertaining round like the Matchday 4 which proved to be the most exciting, most goal scoring and the most wins ever recorded.

All three games of Matchday 4 ended in victories. A direct opposite to the zero wins in Matchday 3. Table toppers Enyimba, defending champions Rivers United, and the exciting Remo Stars all picked up wins. Enyimba International were the biggest winners of the day; putting the Sunshine Stars to the sword, and bringing themselves within inches to lifting their 9th league title.

NPFL Super Six Matchday 4: As It Happened

Rivers United vs Bendel Insurance

The game started with both teams sizing out each other. The first real chance of the game fell to Rivers United in the 6th minute. Gibson's effort to tip over the goalkeeper went wide after being set up nicely by his teammates. Rivers United had a penalty shout in the 13th minute which the referee waved over.

After a cagey affair in the minutes that followed, Rivers United took the lead at the stroke of halftime as Morice Chukwu scored in the 45th minute.

The second half resumed with Bendel Insurance in the driving seat. Divine troubling the defense line and the goalkeeper, but Rivers United kept them at bay. Stanley Eguma rang changes in the 79th minute as Bendel Insurance pressured to restore parity. The changes were a stroke of luck for the Rivers United side.

Cometh the hour cometh the man! substitutes Ukeme and Onoja combined to give Rivers United a 2-0 lead at the 90th minute. But there was still more to the game. Divine who has been bright for Bendel Insurance all game scored in the 90+5 minute in what was a consolation goal for Insurance, bringing their 21 games unbeaten streak to an end.

Lobi Stars vs Remo Stars

At the 4:30 PM kick-off, Lobi Stars squared off with Remo Stars. Both teams were without a win in the NPFL Super Six Championship round. It became a battle of which star will shine brightest at the end of 90 minutes.

Ogunmodede's men started the match strongly as the former NPFL top scorer Junior Lokosa missed a goal scoring chance early on. Having missed that early chance, Lokosa made no mistakes as he scored Remo Stars’ opener in the 17th minute with a flying header.

Nine minutes later, Akanni Qudus who was involved in the first goal, teamed up with Ogunribide, whose cutback pass was tucked into the net by Adams Olamilekan to give Ogunmodede's men a 2-0 lead in the 26th minute of the first half.

The second half saw chances for both sides to score more goals. However, neither Remo Stars nor Lobi Stars could convert them as the game ended 2-0 in favour of the Sky Blue Stars as they earned their first 3 points of the Championship round.

Sunshine Stars vs Enyimba

This was the last kick-off of the day. Enyimba, moved with motivation from Rivers United early win in the day, started the game strongly.

Mbaoma who had started up-front in place of the injured Obioma had Enyimba in dreamland after just 8 minutes. Mbaoma scored twice to give the Elephants a commanding lead at the break.

In the second half, while Sunshine Stars were trying to find themselves back into the game, Ikenna Cooper scored from a freekick in the 66th minute to give Enyimba a 3-0 lead.

With a 3 goal mountain to climb for Sunshine Stars, the result became inevitable. Enyimba saw out the rest of the game, recording the biggest win of the Championship round and on course to win their 9th league title.

How Things Stand

With the top 3 teams picking up wins in the matchday, there are no changes to how the teams ranked prior to kickoff. Enyimba remained top of the standings on equal points (8 points) with Rivers United, but with a better goal difference.

Remo Stars occupy 3rd spot with 6 points, while the now beaten Bendel Insurance stay 4th on 3 points. Lobi Stars and Sunshine Stars occupy 5th and 6th position respectively with 2 points apiece. Matchday 5 will see Sunshine Stars take on Lobi Stars, Remo Stars vs Bendel Insurance, and lastly Enyimba vs Rivers United.

This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago

Joseph is a graduate engineer turned sports writer, he has covered lots of sports stories, match previews and predictions across various leagues on the planet.