Two free kicks and three perfectly aimed goals scored under pressure from defenders on Match-day 15 made the first VAT Wonder Goal shortlist of the 2017/18 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.
Shortlisted for voting are free kicks by Umar Zango of Lobi Stars and Sunday Emmanuel of Sunshine Stars which are all up against sublime efforts of Rivers Unitedâ€™s Emeka Ogbugh, Ajani Ibrahim of Rangers and NPFL top marksman, Junior Lokosa of Kano Pillars.
Ibrahim Ajaniâ€™s left footed perfect curl and his second goal for Rangers in their 3-0 defeat of Yobe Desert Stars left Enugu fans at the Cathedral singing his praises.
In Umuahia, quick thinking by Umar Zango saw him lift a free kick from over 30 meters above a badly positioned Abia Warriors goalkeeper to earn the league leaders a valuable point in Umuahia.
Sunday Emmanuel struck twice from dead ball situations to bring added pressure on a resurgent Kwara United which let go their head coach, John Obuh for Abubakar Bala after unimpressive results.
The Ilorin side had scored first in Akure but Emmanuel stepped forward to hit the ball hard past the defensive wall and beyond the reach of Kwara United goalkeeper for his second goal which was to be cancelled out late in the game by Sunday Chineduâ€™s frantic header for the 2-2 draw.
In Port Harcourt, while his goal roused the stands at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Emeka Ogbugh did not partake in the celebrations. Ogbugh had joined Rivers United from Heartland after the Owerri club was relegated at the end of the 2015/16 season.
Five minutes into the second half, Ogbugh received a pass from half way into the opponentâ€™s side, and in a deft move, swerved away from two defenders to unleash a rasping shot that beat goalkeeper Japhet Opubo.
He refused to celebrate as his team mates crowded him and offered back slaps.
The fifth goal on the shortlist came off the boots of NPFLâ€™s new hit man, Junior Lokossa who netted a brace in Kano Pillars 4-0 thrashing of FC IfeanyiUbah.
Receiving a pass inside the penalty box, Lokosa sent his marker the wrong way, steadied himself before picking the far side of the post to beat the goalkeeper.
According to League Management Companyâ€™s Head of Special Projects, Harry Iwuala, all the videos of the goals have been uploaded on the NPFLâ€™s website, www.npfl.ng.
â€œVoting will end by 12 midnight of Thursday, April 12 and the player whose goal receives the highest number of goals from the three platforms wins the N150, 000 cash prize half of which will be donated to a charity to be nominated by the player,â€ he noted.
The VAT Wonder Goal Award is a social service of the League Management Company (LMC) in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to deepen tax education within the football community and engagement between the clubs and their community through charity work.