NPFL: How Enyimba Secured Slim Win Over Remo Stars
Seven-time Nigeria League champions, Enyimba have been far from convincing this season.
Even though they won their Nigeria Professional Football League matchday 8 tie against Remo Stars, all is still not well with the Peoples’ Elephant
Chukwuka Onuwa came off the bench to score an 82nd minute goal that handed Enyimba a hard fought 1-0 victory over the Sky Blues.
The diminutive midfielder was thrown into the fray twenty minutes from time and took just over ten minutes to net his first Enyimba goal which proved to be the vital match winner against the determined Westerners.
Enyimba could have gone into the break with a handsome lead, but the former champions, despite creating clear cut chances from the early stages, were undone by profligacy in goal mouth situations.
Thomas Zenke squandered a glorious opportunity in the tenth minute when he held onto Bashir Abdulrahaman's pass to break in through the middle, only to shoot against the body of the Remo Stars goalkeeper Emmanuel Fabiyi from a one-on-one situation.
Abdulrahaman then headed wide from five yards three minutes later after a Nasiru Sani long throw was flicked onto his path by Ibrahim Mustapha.
A defensive mix up at the other end almost gave the visitors the lead as centre back Nelson Ogbonnaya beat his own goalkeeper with a backward header, but was saved the blushes as the ball rolled inches wide.
Enyimba continued to press for the opener in the second half and Abdulrahman soon threw a save from the Remo substitute goalkeeper John Shuaib.
With Enyimba pouring numbers forward in search of the opener, Remo found space and went close but substitute Ayo Saka's strike from a quick counter rattled off the upright.
Enyimba brought in Onuwa for Abdulrahman, and the midfielder made immediate impact, setting up Mustapha whose header pulled another top save from Shuaib. Mustapha then smashed a ball against the upright as the guests escaped another attack.
With eight minutes left, Onuwa's long pass spotted Mustapha, who drifted past his marker into the box before returning to Onuwa to tap into an empty net for his first Enyimba goal.
The win takes Enyimba's points tally to ten as the former champions now set their gaze on the midweek fixture at Niger Tornadoes.
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