Sparkling youngster Godwin Emmanuel came off the bench to write his name in gold as he tapped in a late winner to hand Enyimba a 1-0 win against Shooting Stars at the Enyimba Stadium on Sunday evening.
Emmanuel, a product of the club’s youth system, was sent on as Enyimba made desperate moves to break the deadlock, and became the unexpected hero when he guided in the match-decider four minutes from time.
Despite controlling the entirety of proceedings and creating good openings in the early stages, Enyimba fell short of stepping into a position of advantage as they repeatedly undone by indecisive finishing.
Ekene Awazie was at the end of Chigozie Obasi’s pass but could not steer it on target from five yards while Mbaoma saw his freekick chipped away by Charles Tambe.
Awazie was again a good touch away from turning Fatai Abdullahi’s chip pass into the net before Adekunle Adeleke’s attempt from the box went narrowly wide.
Austin Oladapo, whose return from a six months doping ban dominated the pre-match headlines, was introduced midway through the second half and immediately served the qualities befitting of the applauds he received, dictating every attacking move by the hosts.
It was from one of his thrusting passes that two other substitutes, Godwin Emmanuel and Abdulwasiu Mahmud – who was making his debut – combined to break the visitor’s resilience and hand Finidi George’s side their third win of the campaign.