Enyimba 2-0 Plateau United: second half strikes ensure final day win

Enyimba dismantled Plateau United 2-0 in front of a vociferous capacity crowd in Aba in their final game of the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) season to finish 3rd on the log, and  seal a spot in the CAF Confederation Cup.

After a dominant and controlled performance that saw the hosts miss a plethora of scoring chances, striker Chijioke Mbaoma put the 2-time African champions ahead with a solo effort, firing in from a tight angle in the 78th minute. It was Mbaoma’s 17th goal of the campaign, which ultimately earned him the Golden Boot – an award for the league’s top scorer.

Two minutes after he had missed a sitter, substitute Alade Balogun sent the Aba fans wild with a cool finish from inside the box in the 88th minute to cap the win.

Enyimba went into the encounter knowing nothing short of victory will guarantee a third-place finish. And with rivals Shooting Stars 1-0 up against eventually-relegated Sporting Lagos at the break, Coach Yemi Daniel and his technical crew had it all to do.

The introduction of dazzling winger Bernard Ovoke brought some creative spark to the team, as the People’s Elephant, who reached the semi-finals of the CAF Confederation Cup in 2018, searched for an opener.

Mbaoma, Chigozie Chilekwu, Murphy Ndukwu and Ovoke all missed begging opportunities to put Enyimba ahead before the opener.

It could have easily finished 7 or 8-0 in favour of the hosts, if they had converted the numerous chances they created.

The result means record 9-time NPFL champions Enyimba ended the season on 3rd position with 63 points from 38 matches, and thus qualify for Africa’s second-tier inter-club competition next season.

Champions Rangers International and runners-up Remo Stars, meanwhile, will represent Nigeria in the money-spinning CAF Champions League next term.


NPFL Final Day Results:

Gombe United 1-2 Rangers

Akwa United 3-1 Rivers United

Kano Pillars 3-1 Lobi Stars

Bendel Insurance 0-2 Bayelsa United

Remo Stars 2-1 Katsina United

Niger Tornadoes 2-1 Sunshine Stars

Enyimba 2-0 Plateau United 

Shooting Stars 1-0 Sporting Lagos

Doma United 1-1 Abia Warriors

Kwara United 4-0 Heartland

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