NPFL: Rangers, Enyimba Oriental Derby Ends in Confusion in Enugu

 *Remo Stars, 3SC beaten away, Sporting Lagos in nail-biting draw in Bayelsa

Femi Solaja

The much-advertised Oriental derby between host Enugu Rangers and defending champions, Enyimba of Aba lived up to expectations but ended in confusion last night as the centre referee called off the match following crowd invasion of the pitch in protest against a penalty awarded to the home side dip into the extra time.

The ‘Top of the Table’ clash was a good advertisement for the domestic league as it witnessed a capacity crowd.  

StarTimes, the exclusive broadcaster of the NPFL, aired the match live on its Beta Sports channel 244.

The hosts seized momentum from the blast of kickoff, looking more adventurous but visiting Enyimba were  equal to the task as they thawed their chances for an early goal.

Enyimba goalkeeper, Ani Ozoemena was called to action first in the 10th minute and then in the 20th minute when Chiedizie’s long strike hit the bar for a goal kick.

With no goal at the end of the first stanza, Enyimba FC looked more adventurous mid-way into the second half with the duo of Chibuike Nwaiwu and Imo Obot putting the pressure on the home side but it resulted in no goal.

However, the host took over the last quarter of the match looking for a daring side until the late seconds of the match when the referee awarded a penalty following a foul on the Rangers’ forward.

The match was held up for some minutes following the invasion by the supporters of the visiting team and with no sign of a restart the referee had no choice but to call off the match.

In other matches, Remo Stars failed to continue with the ‘catch up’ at the top following a 3-2 loss at Lobi Stars at in Makurdi while continental ticket hopeful, Shooting Stars of Ibadan also lost by a lone goal to hosts, Rivers United.

Abia Warriors played goalless with visiting Bendel Insurance as Bayelsa United rallied back from two goals down to pick a draw against visiting Sporing Lagos. Heartland of Owerri won 3-1 against Doma United while Sunshine Stars of Akure were two nil better against visiting Akwa United.

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