Late Drama and Disappointment in the NPFL Super Six Matchday 2

NPFL side Enyimba
Credit: @EnyimbaFC Twitter

The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Super Six Playoffs entered Matchday two on Monday at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos. At the end of the Matchday, one win, two draws and seven goals were recorded, an improvement on the five goals scored on the opening day.

NPFL Super Six Matchday Two: As It Happened

Lobi Stars vs Enyimba

The first match of the day at 2 PM saw Lobi Stars draw swords with the eighth-time NPFL winners, Enyimba.

The People's Elephants started the game on the front foot. NPFL leading goalscorer, Chukwuemeka Obioma scored for Enyimba in the 16th minute of play. The diminutive striker got on the end of goalkeeper Daniel Atsaka’s failure to catch the ball from a long throw-in, nodding the ball into an empty net to make it 1-0 for Enyimba, that was the 16th goal of the season for the best striker in the league.

Both sides tried to score more goals in the game. Lobi Stars pressured Enyimba for most of the game, after going a goal down, in order to get an equalizer, but Enyimba held their own to pick their first win of the championship round. Having played out a 2-2 draw with Remo Stars in their first game, Enyimba now top the standings on 4 points. They're on course to add to their NPFL title tally.

The result left Lobi Stars in 6th position, amassing just 1 point from two matches so far.

Rivers United vs Remo Stars

The second match of the day at Mobolaji Johnson Arena involved the defending champions of the NPFL, Rivers United, squaring off with Remo Stars at 4:30 PM.

Rivers United mounted pressure early on the game, dictating play and searching for the first goal. Their early pressure paid off in the 16th minute when Nwangwa Nekabari Nyima scored from close range. They went into the Half-time 1-0 up.

In the second half, Remo Stars coach threw in former NPFL top scorer, Junior Lokosa and Olamilekan Adedayo into the action in the 56th minute; it was the substitutions that changed the game.

Olamilekan Adedayo restored parity for Remo Stars in the 71st minute. Ogunmodede's men now in full control of the game, holding the ball and pressuring Rivers United for their second goal.

An end-to-end attack ensued as both teams searched for the winner. But it was in added time that the drama unfolded. Adedayo scored what looked to be the winner at 90+6 minute for Remo Stars; however, Rivers United equalized from the restart a minute later as the Remo Stars bench were still celebrating.

It was painful, it was disappointing  as the game ended 2-2. Rivers United with 4 points, dropped to 2nd, while Remo Stars sit 3rd with 2 points.

Bendel Insurance vs Sunshine Stars

The last matchup of the day saw Bendel Insurance play out a 1-1 draw with Sunshine Stars, marking a second consecutive draw in the playoffs for the Benin Arsenal and ten draws in their last 11 skirmishes.

Adigie's men had gone ahead in the match through Nwachukwu in the 7th minute, but as the Insurance side have done many times this season, they couldn't hold their lead. A goalmouth scramble in the 62nd minute ensured Udom Ekerete restored parity for Sunshine Stars. Neither side scored again as the match ended 1-1. The result meant that Bendel Insurance are 4th with 2 points while Sunshine Stars are 5th with a point.

The Benin outfit extended their unbeaten streak to 20 games, however, the disappointment for Adigie and his men is their tendency to draw games, which most likely puts them out of contention for the title and qualification for CAF competitions next season.

This article was most recently revised and updated 4 months ago

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