Reuben Bala made a definitive impact on his long-awaited return to action as he began Enyimba’s comeback in 2-2 draw against FC Ifeanyi Uba at the Enyimba Stadium on Wednesday evening.
In an unexpected turn of events, Enyimba trailed their visitors by two goals with twelve minutes left, but Bala, playing competitively for the first time in fourteen months, inspired a spirited comeback when he bundled in Enyimba’s first before Imo Obot levelled it up in stoppage time.
Ifeanyi Uba had raced into an unlikely lead on the bring of the half-hour when the hosts dealt indecisively with a corner, allowing Evans Ogbonda to set it up for Saidu Adamu who headed beyond John Noble.
The visitors almost made it two four minutes after when Austin Oladapo’s back pass was intercepted by Uche Onuaha, but John Noble was out on time to divert the effort.
Bala and Dayo Ojo were introduced at the break, but it was the visitors that took the first initiative after the restart as Saidu Adamu slid in his second of the evening after the hour mark.
Enyimba eventually found urgency in the closing stages and got a lifeline when Bala halved the deficit with twelve minutes left.
The returning forward came close to his brace shortly after but his well hit effort was thwarted by the lively Sharp Uzoigwe.
Fatai Osho’s men finally found their equaliser in added time as substitute Imo Obot slid Philip Ozor’s cross into the far post.
The result has left Enyimba five points off the pace, although Fatai Osho’s men have played two games less than the rest of the pack.