Wikki Tourists of Bauchi remained on top of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) yesterday after visiting Enugu Rangers snatched a point from their goalless draw in the north eastern city.
The NPFL leaders remain two points clear of closest rivals Rangers on 42 points, but would have been a lot happier had they won in front of their fans to extend their lead at the top to five points.
League leading scorer Godwin Obaje as well as Alhassan Ibrahim aka ‘Muazam’ both had chances to win the game for the home team, but Rangers Ghanaian goalkeeper Nana Bonsu was in inspired form.
Obaje’s goal-bound shot in stoppage time came off the post to the huge relief of Rangers.
The biggest upset of the day was struggling Plateau United’s 1-0 win at Abia Warriors.
Ibeh Johnson scored the winning goal for the Jos club on 82 minutes.
In other league matches, IfeanyiUbah were also held to a scoreless draw by a resurgent Sunshine Stars in Nnewi while Lobi Stars scraped past Heartland 1-0.
In Port Harcourt, after holding off strongly in the first half, El Kanemi Warriors succumbed to the supremacy of Enyimba of Aba to concede two quick goals in the second half with no reply in their NPFL Match-day 25 clash at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium.
Man-of-the-Match Nzube Anaezemba flew into Joseph Osadiaye’s free kick and delivered a low header to put Enyimba up in the 53rd minute and Bassey Ezekiel sealed victory for the Aba boys with a drive from the box line in the 69th minute, just three minutes after he came off the bench to substitute Andrew Abalogu.
El Kanemi had unsettled Enyimba in the early minutes of the game with a long throw into the box for a cluster of waiting lanky strikers but goalkeeper Moses Ocheye rise promptly to duty, lifting higher to save the situation.
Chinedu Ohanachom rubbed it in for the Maiduguri warriors as he drove in from the flank, dusting a couple of Enyimba’s defenders but he was stopped in the box by captain Chinedu Udoji.
Enyimba recovered quickly afterwards and began to push back on the visitors as Ojo Oluwadare attempted a long range shot which flew over but El Kanemi replied with Isiaka Olawale stepping into a loose chance which he executed feebly off target. He tried yet another trick in the 22nd minute when he sighted Moses Ocheye off his line and quickly delivered a lob that sailed slightly over the bar.
Enyimba came closest to scoring in the first half when Stephen Chinedu dribbled in but fluffed a one-on-one chance with George Michael, in goal for El Kanemi.
Down by two goals in the second half, Coach Ladan Bosso threw everything in the last quarter but all the chances for El Kanemi produced no consolation as Isiaka Olawale’s 84th minute powerful strike was parried for corner by Ocheye.
Most biting was Bambai Mohammed’s golden miss in the 87th minute when he arrived earlier to receive a counter and Ocheye come out late in the bid to stop him but Bambai lobbed over the cross bar even with Ocheye clearly out of his box with no defender behind him.
The result was especially important for Enyimba to get on track for the league title chase and hopefully book another berth for the continentals next season.