Enyimba pip FC Taraba, reclaim top spot
Enyimba yesterday at the Aba Township Stadium continued their steady march to the Glo Premier League title by beating FC Taraba 1-0, reports SuperSport.com.
The match, moved from Sunday to yesterday morning due to heavy downpour, took the ‘Peoples Elephant’ back to the summit of the table despite their closest rivals, Sunshine Stars, 5-0 defeat of El Kanemi in Akure on Sunday.
But victory did not come easy as the Aba fans had to wait until the last 15 minutes for the match-winning goal from substitute Musa Najare.
Enyimba head coach, Kadiri Ikhana, returning to the bench after missing out last Wednesday owing to his appointment with a dentist, named a strong field of 11 players despite leaving out defensive midfielder Abdulrazak Aliyu entirely, while Daniel Etor, Najare and Nzube Anaezemba started from the bench.
In the other dugout, Ndubuisi Nduka, showed no sign of fear by listing an attack-minded side that included Bishop Onyeudo, Jonah Abutu, Stephen Adah, John Huan Aondongu and Chimaobi Nwaogu – a case of a fallen man not fearing the fall as FC Taraba still languish in bottom place in the standings.
As expected, Enyimba served the first salvo. Winger Ezekiel Bassey threaded the ball through to Kingsley Sokari who broke free in a one-on-one with FC Taraba goalkeeper Ikechukwu Obilo, but instead shot straight at him.
The rest of the half just thinned out with little or no talking point as FC Taraba put in an effort to march their illustrious opponents – man for man and ball for ball.
Unimpressed by the outcome of the first 45 minutes, Ikhana sent on Najare and Etor for Mfon Udoh and Ifeanyi George.
Six minutes into the restart, FC Taraba scored through Nwaogu’s header but the referee, Paul Umuago, overruled the attempt for an infringement.
Within minutes, Enyimba won a spot kick after Etor appeared to have been upended in the box albeit a minimal contact by the offending FC Taraba defender.
Markson Ojobo stepped up for the eighth spot kick awarded to Enyimba this season, and Obilor guessed to the right spot and saved to keep his team in the game at 0-0.
And just when FC Taraba thought they had done enough to cross the hour mark and had just less than a quarter to hold on for a big point, Najare struck the winner in the 76th minute off a Peter Onyekachi assist.
Najare’s goal was enough to seal the full points for Enyimba to dislodge Sunshine Stars off the summit of the Nigerian league as the race for the title gathers momentum. Enyimba have 48 points, two more than the Akure club.
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