- Published on Wednesday, 19 April 2017 20:19
- Hits: 524
By Sanipe Damiete
A sublime free kick in the first half by substitute Stephen Chukwude was all it took Enyimba International FC to put to sword hard fighting Remo Stars in a Matchday 19 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) fixture on Wednesday.
Playing in a scanty UJ Esuene Stadium did not deter the Peoples Elephant as they took the initiative in a cagey opening encounter that lacked attempts at goal in the opening 20 minutes.
Ibrahim Mustapha got the first attempt at goal howbeit a weak bicycle keep that went wide. Remo's Salefu Ochowechi then beat two players at the other end before hitting the ball but his shot swerved wide.
Ismaila Gata got injured in the 15th minute and was replaced by Chukwude who brought some bite to Enyimba's attack. The later took on players at will and almost got the opener when put through on goal but he took so much time to balance affording the defence line to clear the off his feet. Enyimba's shout for a penalty was overlooked by the referee.
Enyimba pegged their opponents in their half with series of attack; Mustapha hit the woodwork with a powerful header before Eric Frimpong forced goalkeeper Walbe David to a wonderful save to keep his side in the game. Enyimba thought they had taken the lead when a corner kick
led to goalmouth scramble but the Remo defence cleared their line. Desperate for goal, Ifeanyi Anaemena had to surge forward to try his luck from outside the box but narrowly missed his target.
The maintained pressure finally paid off in the 41st minute when Remo conceded a free kick on the edge of the box. Chukwude stepped forward and delivered a beautiful shot that Walbe could do nothing about to give Enyimba the lead.
Remo Stars gaffer, Fatai Osho made changes to his team in the second half to get something from the game but Enyimba's defense marshalled by Anaemena was resolute quelling everything Remo throw at them.
The Sky Blue Stars were the better side in the second half but found it difficult to create anything of note in the final third while Chukwude and second half substitute Stanley Dimgba came close at the other end.
Dimgba hit the side net with his effort when through on goal who came Chinedu Ohanachom could not tap in from two yards after Chukwude danced his way into the box to square the ball to him.
Enyimba did just enough to hang on to win all three points to finish on a high this mid season.
Enyimba: Friday Achimugwu, Chima Akas, Nelson Ogbonnaya, Dare Ojo, Robert Egbeta, Ifeanyi Anaemena, Andrew Abalogu, Olufemi Oladapo (Stanley Dimgba 58'), Ismaila Gata (Stephen Chukwude 15'), Ibrahim Mustapha, Eric Frimpong (Chinedu Ohanachom 65')
Unused Subs: Izunda Njoku, Samson Gbadebo, Ikouwem Udoh, Ugochukwu Leonard
Coach: Gbenga Ogunbote
Remo Stars: Walbe David, Ganda Samuel, Obi Ekene, Onuoha Chukwujekwu, Ewelike Edozie, Lasisi Saheed, Chidume Victor (Muhammed Saidu 38'), Enudi Solomon (Onovo David 53'), Salefu Ochowechi, Awazie Ekene (Archibong Obo 71'), Mbaoma Victor
Coach: Fatai Osho
Unused Subs: Ndukwu Chizoba, Balogun Sodiq, Oshobe Shuji, Jamiu Coker
Enyimba 1-0 Remo Stars
Stephen Chukwude 41'
On target: 4-0
Corner kicks: 4-3
Man of the Match: Ifeanyi Anaemena (Enyimba)
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