Enyimba Win Record 9th Nigerian League Title on Goal Difference

Enyimba Win Record 9th Nigerian League Title on Goal Difference
Credit: @EnyimbaFC Twitter

Enyimba FC have been crowned Champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) for the 2022/23 season after finishing top of the Championship playoffs standings in Matchday 5.

Finidi George's side were presented with the trophy on Sunday, having confirmed themselves as league winners after playing out a 1-1 draw with Rivers United in the last kick-off of the day at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Onikan, Lagos on Sunday evening.

The People's Elephants knew before kick-off they'd be Champions if they could earn a draw against Rivers United. Former Remo Stars’ player, Ekene Awazie, opened the scoring for the Peoples Elephants in the 40th minute to ensure Enyimba finished the first half on top.

3 minutes into the second half, Rivers United FC restored parity through Nyima Nwagua in the 48th minute. Rivers United pressured for a winner but Enyimba stood firm, cutting out every danger that came from the Pride of Rivers. Neither side scored again, as the match ended 1-1 apiece to bring Enyimba to their ninth league title.

With the NPFL Super Six Championship round brought to an end on Sunday, the newly crowned champions ended the campaign with a 1-1 draw with Rivers United to finish the Championship playoffs with 9 points, and a better goal difference, from five matches played, than Remo Stars who finished 2nd, and Rivers United who finished 3rd.

NPFL Super Six Matchday 5: As it Happened

Sunshine Stars vs Lobi Stars

Sunshine Stars squared off with Lobi Stars in the opening match of the last round at 2 PM on Sunday afternoon.

After the early exchanges, Sunshine Stars went ahead through Stephen Chukwude's 22nd minute strike. In the 39th minute, Michael Olulasi doubled the lead for Sunshine Stars to end the first half with a two goal cushion.

In the second half, Elijah Ani pulled one goal back for Lobi Stars in the 70th minute, their first ever goal in the NPFL playoffs. Lobi Stars sought for an equalizer, but Sunshine Stars made sure to put the result beyond them as Vincent Temitope scored the 3rd goal for his side in the 82nd minute. Sunshine Stars recorded their only win of the playoffs as it ended 3-1 in their favour.

Remo Stars vs Bendel Insurance

Bendel Insurance's unbeaten streak was brought to an end by Rivers United in Matchday 4. Adigie's men were looking to bounce back from there as they battled Remo Stars in the second match of Matchday 5.

After a tight affair for most of the first half, Remo Stars took the lead in the 40th minute through Qudus Akanni to end the first period 1-0 for Remo. Neither side scored in the second half despite their best efforts. Ogunmodede and his men saw out the rest of the half, picking up a continental football slot as reward for the good shift they've put in the Championship playoffs.

Who Qualified for CAF Competitions?

By winning the league title, Enyimba FC are guaranteed an automatic place in next season’s CAF Champions League along with Remo Stars, who finished second on the log.

Meanwhile, last season's champions, Rivers United, will compete in the CAF Confederation Cup next season, after finishing third on the playoffs log with 9 points and least goal difference amongst the top 3 teams.

We'll like to remind you that the just-concluded NPFL abridged season saw Dakkada, Nasarawa United, El-Kanemi Warriors, and Niger Tornadoes all drop to the NNL, the country’s second-tier league.

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.