Enyimba have returned to the top of the NPFL Championship Playoff with a 3-0 win against Sunshine Stars at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena on Friday.
The People’s Elephant were temporarily shifted to third after Rivers United and Remo Stars won respectively in the day’s earlier fixtures, but Chijioke Mbaoma’s quick fire double and Ikenna Cooper’s third ensured that Finidi George’s side enter the final match day at the summit.
Mbaoma, alongside strike partner Chisom Okereke, was handed his first start of the playoff and did not take long to justify the coach’s choice as he got on the end of Uwana Asuquo’s throw-in to fire past Mustapha Lawal in the third minute.
He got his brace five minutes later, freeing up himself to tuck Ekene Awazie’s clever pass into the net.
Mbaoma puts the ball past Mustapha Lawal for his brace
The path looked set from there for Enyimba, but Sunshine Stars tried to fight back into it and came close when a cross from the right ricocheted off the upright.
Former Enyimba player Stephen Chukwude held up play nicely before stretching Ojo with a low drive, but Enyimba’s dominance prevailed when Cooper’s 66th minute free kick took a deflection on its way to the net to make it three for the eight times champions.
Substitutes Chibuike Nwaiwu and Adiele Eriugo also had chances to increase the margin, but Finidi George’s men had already done enough to secure a convincing win.
The win guarantees Enyimba a top three finish, at least, but Finidi George’s side can go further to be crowned champions with victory against Rivers United on the final match on Sunday.