Slim winning chances are one of the most interesting parts of sporting events, and the fans of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) just witnessed one last June 2.
Two goals from Victor Mbaoma and Farouk Mohammed secured a narrow victory over Lobi Stars in the Aba Township stadium.
The People’s Elephant and the Ortom boys are both in the latter portion of the second half of the league standing, but this latest rescheduled game gave the former team enough points to get ahead of the latter.
After all, it was a deserving win, given that Enyimba did a great job in running their offence as well as sustaining their defence.
It wasn’t easy for them because the Stars also gave their all in order to achieve the bragging rights from that contested match.
The game’s heated run is quite evident in the substitution record of both two teams.
It seemed that there was really no spare time to make errors, thus only having one sub apiece instead of optimising the league’s newly approved 5-sub rule.
Check the lineup below for a better overview of the teams before you get into football betting in Nigeria.
- John Noble
- Emmanuel Ampiah
- Nabil Yarou
- Farouk Mohammed — scored one goal
- Reuben Bala
- Bilah Yakubu
- Samad Kadiri — sub to Gabriel Orok
- Philip Ozor — received yellow card
- Abiodun Adebayo
- Cyril Olisema
- Victor Mbaoma — scored one goal
- Ossy Martins — scored one goal
- Moses Tsehuan
- Abiodun Kayode
- Onuwa Chukwuka
- Osimaga Duke
- John Lazarus
- Chigozie Chilekwu
- Otakho Aghahowa
- Monday Akile — sub to Nnamdi Egbujuo
- O. Chinedu — received yellow card
- Stanley Nwabali
2-1: narrow win for Enyimba
Enyimba showed their prowess when midfielder Bala slipped through the Stars on the right edge of the penalty area, and just enough to set up forward Mbaoma to score in the 8th minute.
That rebuilding confidence led the club to continuously dominate the attack for most of the first half.
True enough, they landed another goal to increase their commanding lead when Mohammed booted a penalty in the 42nd minute before the halftime break.
It seemed that the break and the second goal of the Aba Warriors served as the wake-up call for the Stars.
Coach Kabiru Dogo brought Sani Mohammed as a brief replacement for Kayode at the start of the second half.
The change was effective because the stadium saw the team’s more stable performance, which was enough to cause Enyimba to make some sloppy errors.
Finally, the plan worked well as they were awarded a penalty kick, and Ossy Martins converted it into a goal in the 51st minute.
However, that was also the end of it, and they were never able to make a close attempt until the end of the match.
Speaking of the attempt, Enyimba almost recovered from their dominating lead.
Only that, goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali denied Samad Kadiri’s kick in the 53rd minute, as well as the very clear low driven pass of Mbaoma.
Enyimba resulted in 54% possession, 288 passes, and 76% accuracy for the entire game, whereas the Stars had 46% possession, 121 passes, and 60.2% accuracy.
The winning team may have triumphed over the offence, but let’s face it, Nwabali deserves much recognition after denying two clear strikes from Kadiri and Mbaoma.
While there were no spectators, the stadium witnessed an exchange of fireworks in the second half of the game.
The Aba Warriors coach Fatai Osho was very proud of how the game turned out and how his talented players secured a win to earn enough points in the standings.
According to him, it was their first time that they had three points, making it a memorable mark for both the teams and fans.
Since the league is still underway, it’s not too late to support Enyimba and try football betting in Nigeria.
This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago