The Nigeria National League (NNL) Super Eight Playoff got underway in Aba, Abia state on Sunday with Bendel Insurance and Remo Stars excelling in three-goal thrillers.
After the first game of the day between Gombe United and Kogi United ended 1-1, Insurance got off to a fast start in the second, racing to a two-goal lead before completing a 3-0 triumph over Delta Force.
Veteran forward Charles Omokaro gave Insurance the lead in the 12th minute after a scintillating team move. Forward Michael Ugwu rounded Force goalkeeper Victor Sochima before squaring for Omokaro who still had more to do, finishing beyond two Force defenders.
Insurance doubled their advantage soon after through their enterprising winger Michael Enaruna. The left footed player curled home a free kick beyond Sochima in the 15th minute to double the Monday Odigie-led side’s advantage.
Matters became worse for Delta Force when Nduka Eze was sent off just after the hour mark before Emmanuel Uangboje sealed the scoreline in the second half.
In the third game also decided at the Enyimba Stadium, Kada City and Real Stars, both of Kaduna played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with either side scoring stoppage time goals in each half.
Emmanuel Kelvin gave Real Stars the lead with a sublime curling effort but Kabiru Sanusi levelled matters with virtually the last kick of the game, his free kick from 25 yards finding the top corner.
Jamilu Coker then gave Kada City a deserved lead in the 65th minute when he headed home Obioma Arinze’s flick but Real Stars had the last laugh when Daniel George predatorily struck in stoppage time to end the game 2-2.
In the night game, Remo Stars walloped an unlucky Shooting Stars side 3-0 to go joint top of the Southern group. Edoka Owoicho headed home Omotayo Adebogun’s corner to give Remo the lead in the 34th minute slightly against the run of play.
After withering some sort of Shooting Stars pressure, Remo increased the score margin to two when Abiodun Awoyemi chested and volleyed home on the overlap. Remo goalkeeper Emmanuel Fabiyi twice denied Shooting forward Jonah Emmanuel before former Shooting Stars midfielder Olufemi Oladapo rounded up scoring five minutes from time with an effort from long range.
#NNLSuper8 Matchday 1 Results:
Gombe Utd 1-1 Kogi Utd
Kada City 2-2 Real Stars.
Bendel Insurance 3-0 Delta Force
Remo Stars 3-0 Shooting Stars.
Real Stars v Gomber Utd – 8AM
Kogi Utd v Kada City – 10AM
Delta Force v 3SC -12PM
Bendel Insurance v Remo Stars -2PM.