June, 5 2023.
Three more fiercely contested matches, defined Day-2 proceedings at the 2022/23 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Play-offs, where Enyimba of Aba were the only side to pocket 3 points, while the other two games ended in pulsating draws.
League top scorer Chukwuemeka Obioma (16) gave Enyimba a 16th minute lead, and Enyimba whose head coach, Finidi George blamed lapses in defending for their 2-2 draw with Remo Stars on Saturday; protected that lead for the remainder of the match, to record their first win of the play-offs, and take their points tally to four (4), while Lobi Stars remain on a solitary point from their eye-catching draw with Bendel Insurance on Day 1.
However, the match of the day is no doubt the 4pm encounter between reigning champions, Rivers United and Remo Stars of Ikenne, ckdmedia.ng reports.
Having twice rallied from behind to upset Enyimba with a 2-2 draw, one would have thought lessons have been learnt by the other teams.
It seamed so, when captain Nyima Nwagua put the Pride of Rivers in front in the 16th minute, only for Remo Stars to level matters in the 71st minute through Olamilekan Adebayor, who later caused a big roar in the stands, when he scored 3 minutes into added time to complete his brace.
But while Remo Stars and indeed almost everyone following the game, felt a big upset was about to happen, Stanley Eguma's men responded, through Adefemi Lukma who netted a stunning equalizer in the 90+6 minutes.
"That's the hallmark of true champions that we are, losing the match today and all the points, would have been too harsh on us..." Eguma said after the match.
The draw means River United and Enyimba are top of the log with four (4) points each, Remo Stars and Bendel Insurance who were held 1-1 by Sunshine Stars are on 2 points apiece, while Sunshine Stars, like Lobi Stars are on one (1) point.
Udoh Edem Ekerette scored in the 62nd minute to help Sunshine Stars draw 1-1 with Insurance, which looked jaded after taking an early lead. Despite the disappointing draw, the Benin Arsenal, were able to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions this season.