Defending champions, Rivers United yesterday opened their campaign in the Nigeria Premier League (NPFL) Super 6 Play-off with a hard fought 1-0 win over Sunshine Stars while Remo Stars came back twice to draw 2-2 with former African champions Enyimba of Aba at the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Arena in Lagos.
The Championship Play-off which is featuring Bendel Insurance, Rivers United, Lobi Stars, Enyimba, Remo Stars and Sunshine Stars is a season ending competition to decide the overall winner of the 203 NPFL abridged season.
In the opening match of the day, Adiele Eriugo scored the first goal of the Championship play-off when he gave Enyimba FC the lead in the 60th minute after a barren first half.
However, Eriugo’s first league goal for Enyimba lasted for only eleven minutes as former NPFL highest goal scorer, Junior Lokosa, who came on as substitute levelled scores for Remo with his first kick of the ball in the 77th minute.
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There was nothing to separate the two sides until the 81st minute when Enyimba were awarded a penalty which Captain Chukwuemeka Obioma converted to restore his team’s lead.
From then on, Enyimba deployed delay tactics to wind down the clock but Remo Stars weren’t done as Captain Nduka Junior struck in a perfect free kick in the third minute of second half added time for the keenly contested match to end 2-2.
In the second match of the day, Super Eagles fringe defender Ebube Duru converted from the spot in the 64th minute for Rivers United to secure a slim 1-0 win over Sunshine Stars.
Meanwhile, the third and final match of the day between Group A winners Bendel Insurance and Group B runners-up Lobi Stars was stalemated as neither side could break the deadlock.