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Enyimba Held by Remo, Rivers United Bags 3 Points And Insurance Remain Unbeaten

June, 3 2023.

Remo Stars of Ikenne underlined their ambitions to win the 2022/23 Nigeria Premier League (NPL) title, or at least secure a ticket that will see them play continental football for the second year in a row; by twice rallying from behind to earn a respectable 2-2 draw against their more illustrious opponents, Enyimba of Aba, in the opening match of the season ending Super Six play-offs.

Adiele Eriogu gave the eight time Champions the lead on the hour mark, before former top scorer, Junior Lokosa drew Remo Stars level; but the headlines belongs to Chukwuemeka Obioma who restored Enyimba's lead from the penalty spot in the 81st minute, and took his season's tally to 15 goals, only for Nduka Junior to force a draw, by scoring in stoppage time.

Like the tournament opener, the second match of the day which pitted Sunshine Stars against the title holders, Rivers United produced no goals in the first 45 minutes.

The deadlock was however broken in the 62nd minute, when Oluebube Duru converted a penalty, which players of the Akure Gunners felt was soft. But then, there was contact made and the referee's decision stood.

Duru was at it again, but this time his fiercely taken freekick in the 81st minute, rattled the crossbar.

Should Duru, Albert Korvah and Nyima Nwagua (their leading scorer), continue in this fine form, then the Pride of Rivers can be said to be well on their way to retaining their title, after being the first and only side to pocket 3 points on Day 1 of the play-offs.

To further buttress the level of competitiveness displayed by all six teams on Day 1, the third game between Bendel Insurance of Benin and Lobi Stars of Makurdi was also goalless at halftime.

Although Lobi Stars seemed to have a slight edge in the exchanges of the thrilling encounter, none of the sides had the cutting edge in the final third, as game played under floodlight that projected the beauty of the newly crafted NPL Logo, and branding of the Onikan Stadium, ended in a barren draw, as Insurance of Benin extended their unbeaten run in the league to 19 games, reports.

Remarkably, the tournament had all the components that are needed to make the Nigerian top flight the best in Africa.

Aside from the raw and maturing talents paraded by the teams; the return of Cable Satellite television giants Supersport to the nation's football, was a crowning glory and underlined the tremendous work put in by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) and its leadership.

Hopefully, the spectators attendance will get better; but the ambiance of the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, in Onikan Lagos was simply electric; and the officiating, medical services, security were all top notch; and beared testimony that once more, the league is on the right path to greatness.

Sunday is rest day for all the teams and action will resume on Monday, with all six teams in action.

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