The 2023 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Championship playoffs got off on a dramatic manner as Remo Stars and Enyimba played out a 2-2 draw.
FT: Enyimba 2-2 Remo Stars
Four goals thriller to start this #NPFL23ChampionshipPlayoff. It ends two goals apiece at the Onikan Stadium.
Up next is Sunshine Stars vs Rivers United.
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— ACLSports (@acl_sports) June 3, 2023
Enyimba led twice in the game before Remo Stars rallied back to end the opening game of the playoffs with a point at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos.
Enyimba and Remo Stars, who faced each other twice during the regular season, kicked off the season-ending playoffs and after a subdued first half display of tactical brilliance, the game came alive in the second half.
The People’s Elephant almost got the game’s opening goal when Fatai Abdullahi’s effort came off the woodwork in the third minute. At the other end, Andy Okpe headed over from inside the box when he should have done better.
Moments later, Philip Odubia struck the base of the Enyimba post and that was the last significant action of the first half.
At the hour mark, Enyimba went in front through Adiele Eriugo. Skipper Emeka Obioma robbed Remo captain Nduka Junior off the ball before setting up the youngster for his maiden NPFL goal.
After a couple of changes, Remo Stars stepped it up and their persistence paid off. Seconds after coming on, former NPFL goal king Junior Lokosa finished off a low cross from Lekan Adedayo to drag the Ikenne side level.
Immediately after the restart, Enyimba were awarded a penalty following a foul on Chijioke Mbaoma by Segun Olalere. Obioma stepped up to restore Enyimba’s lead by sending goalkeeper Kayode Bankole wrong way.
Captain fantastic Nduka Junior
— Remo Stars Sports Club (@RemoStarsSC) June 3, 2023
As Enyimba were holding out for the win, the Sky Blue Stars struck in stoppage time to secure a point. Nduka’s low free kick went beyond Bassa Djeri’s wall into the bottom corner. In the end, Remo Stars continued their unbeaten run against the Aba side in the league this term.
The playoffs continue on Monday when Enyimba will face Lobi Stars as Remo Stars will square up against defending champions Rivers United.