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NPFL 22: Enyimba, Remo Stars Maintain Fine Form

Austin Okon-Akpan  
Updated December 27, 2021
Remo Stars starting line-up against Heartland FC

 

Enyimba Football Club of Aba and newly promoted Remo Stars have recorded wins on matchday 2 to continue their fine start to the new 2021/2022 Nigeria Professional Football League season.

Remo Stars produced arguably the major talking point from the opening day with a stunning 2-0 win over MFM FC at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos while Enyimba got their season to a flying start with a 2-1 victory over Abia Warriors in Aba.

In Enugu, the Peoples Elephant showed they mean business with this campaign as they laboured to a 0-1 win over rivals Rangers International Football Club. The Flying Antelopes also had a good opening day win, beating Katsina United 2-1 to open their campaign with an away win. They had hoped to consolidate on that performance against Enyimba but their plans didn’t materialize.

Whenever the Antelopes and Elephants clash, it’s always a tight encounter and Sunday wasn’t different. It was looking like it will end in a barren draw till the 77th minute when coach Finidi George sent in Emeka Obioma to replace Victor Mbaoma. That substitution made the difference.

In the 88th minute, Obioma proved to be a super-sub as he scored the only goal of the match to seal victory for the visitors. Perfect start to the season for the People’s Elephant who are enjoying a good time under new manager Finidi George.

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Remo’s Christmas Package

Remo Stars also made it two wins out of two matches with an impressive 3-0 win over Heartland FC of Owerri. Andy Okpe scored a brace to improve his goals tally to 3 in two matches. It was a beautiful Christmas package for Coach Gbenga Ogunbote and the fans who are so loving the Sky Blue Stars.

Beaming with confidence from Matchday One, the home team showed their intent early in the match. Three minutes into the game, Okpe opened the scoring with a lovely left-foot finish. A minute later, Okpe doubled the lead with a beautiful header. Heartland couldn’t explain what hit them. It was a rush!

The visitors had their moments and tried to get back into the contest but Remo defended the lead so well. In the 72nd minute, Samuel Anakwe sealed a fine performance for the hosts when he scored with a half volley. The win placed Remo Stars on top of the league table with 5 goals from two matches and 6 points.

Rivers United also had a good Christmas package beating Katsina United 3-0. The Pride of Rivers got close to winning on Matchday One but were held to a 1-1 draw at Lobi Stars. On Sunday, they were in control from the beginning till the end of the match.

Rafiu Ishaq scored a brace with Chijioke Akuneto registering one to give the host a comfortable victory. Rivers United are 4th on the log with 4 points.

Boxing Day Love

The number of draws recorded on Sunday in the league confirms that teams were in the boxing day mood.

League champions, Akwa United were held to a 1-1 by the newly-promoted Shooting Stars of Ibadan. Utibe Archibong scored first for the hosts but a late goal Ayo Adejubu spoiled the party for the host as the spoils were shared. An Ibibio man scored for the South West team, while a Yoruba man scored for the South-South team. That’s the power of football!

In Kaduna, Kano Pillars and Lobi Stars played a goalless draw while Nasarawa United and Gombe United played 1-1. This is the second draw result for both teams. Abubakar Abdullahi scored for the Solid Miners in the 48th minute and it stayed that way till the closing minutes of the match when Yusuff Abdulazeez scored the equaliser and spoiled the Christmas party for the hosts.

In another Matchday 2 games played, Dakkada FC bounced back from their opening day defeat to Kwara United to beat MFM FC 2-0. Aniekan Ekpe and Musa Bashiru scored the goals while Mohammed Zulkifilu’s goal gave Plateau United a 1-0 win over Kwara United.

Abia Warriors also recorded their first win of the season with a 1-0 win over Sunshine Stars of Akure while Wikki Tourists got their campaign going with a 1-0 win over newly-promoted Niger Tornadoes.