The match day three of the Nigerian Professional Football League Championship Play-offs served unending drama on Saturday at the Agege stadium in Lagos.
The first game of the day saw Ifeanyi Ubah FC chances of securing a Continental ticket hit a big blow after the third successive loss of the Championship play-offs, losing 2-1 to Kano Pillars in the first match.
Enyimba on the other hand, beat defending Champions Lobi Stars by three goals to one to dim their hopes of retaining the league title they won last season.
The last game of the night between Rangers and Akwa United was a six-goal thriller after Akwa united came from 3 goals down to draw the flying antelopes who were reduced to ten men.
Kano Pillars v Fc Ifeanyi Ubah
Ft Score: 2-1
Goalscorers: Rabiu Ali (45+, P), Ebuka David (63)-(Kano Pillars), Emmanuel Mathew (83) – (Ifeanyi Ubah)
Kano pillars layed one hand on a Continental spot after beating Fc Ifeanyi Ubah by 2 goals to one in a fiercely contested ecounter. The Sai Masu Gida were awarded a penalty moments before half time after David Ebuka was brought down in the box, although the play was momentarily delayed due to protest from players and officials of Ifeanyi Ubah, skipper Rabiu Ali made no mistake when play resumed.
In the second half, David Ebuka scored his third goal in three games after poking home a rebound from his own initial effort which Goalkeeper Anozie had saved, in the 63rd minute.
Emmanuel Mathew thought he had drawn Ifeanyi Ubah into the game just two minutes later as his long-range effort bear pillars Suraj Ayeleso but the Anambra Warriors couldn’t beat the opponent’s defense throughout the remainder of the game.
The loss roots Ifeanyi Ubah to the bottom of the log with zero points whole Pillars lead the log with 7 points.
Ifeanyi Ubah: ANOZIE, PROMISE, UDEH, OKAFOR (C), GBADAMOSI, IKENNA, OGHENETEGA, SAMSON, NNAJI, UGWUKA, IHUARULAM
UZOIGWE, ONUOHA, DIDI, EMMANUEL, NZEDIEGWU, EZEH, ALAEKWE.
WHAT THE COACH SAID
LOBI STARS V ENYIMBA
Ft Score: 1-3
Goalscorers: Samuel Mathias (45+)-Lobi, Abdulrahman Bashir (36″) Stanley Dimgba (40″, 66″)-Enyimba
The People’s Elephant recovered from a 2-0 loss to Kano pillars to thump Lobi Stars by three goals to one with Stanley Dimgba scoring a brace.
Abdulrahman Bashir had given the seven times NPFL Champions the lead in the thirty-first minute of the first half while Stanley Dimgba scored the first of his brace five minutes from half time while Samuel Mathias halved the deficit on the stroke of half time
The very lively Dimgba extended the lead in the sixty-six minutes to secure a well-deserved victory and condemn Lobi to their second successive loss at the play offs.
Lobi Stars: Kayode Olufemi, John Lazarus, Ebube Duru, Alex Aghahowa Otakho, Bashiru Olawale, Kwambe Solomon, Ojudigha Ezekiel, Kadiri Timileyin Sama, Sikiru Alimi, Samuel Mathias, Tiza Iorwuese.
Tambe Charles,Bunde Mosez, Nzekwesi Andrew, Oluwadamilare Ojo, Akleche Sunny, Michael Stephen, Ogunye Austine
Enyimba: Afelokhai Theophilus, Okorom Stanley, Nasiru Sani, Farouk Mohammed, Nelson Ogbonnaya, Anaemena Ifeanyi, Dimgba Stanley, Bala Reuben, Bashir Abdulrahman, Udeagha Chinedu, Osadiaye Joseph
Dauda Fatau, Manyo Stephen, Governor Ernest, Oluwadamilare Olatunji, Onuwa Chukwuka, Orok Gabriel, Udechukwu Chinedu
WHAT THE COACH SAID
AKWA UNITED V RANGERS
Ft Scores: 3-3
Goalscorers: Cyril Olisema (47″), Dennis Nya (87″, 90″)-Akwa United, Chiamaka Madu (64″) Micheal Uchebo (68″ 70″)- Rangers
Akwa United once again were involved in a high scoring dramatic game for the second time in the playoffs after coming from a 2-goal deficit to pull level with a Rangers side who came from a goal down in first half to score three in the space of six minutes.
Cyril Olisema opened the floodgates of goals after scoring in the 47th minutes of the game and then drama ensued when Isiaka Oladuntoye was booked for the second time in the game to have Rangers reduced to ten men in the 67th minute.
Whatever the script of the drama is, no one would have expected Rangers to score twice in 2 minutes with Michael Uchebo scoring both, however if one that predicted that, no one would have expected the game to end with Akwa united scoring two goals of their own in the last 3 minutes with Dennis Nya adding his own twist to the plot with two headed goals to ensure that Rafael Everton’s men still stand a chance of lifting their maiden NPFL trophy.
Akwa United: Ojo Olorunleke, Wilson Elu, Kodjovi Dadzie, Ubong Essien, Dennis Nya, Blaise, Cyril Olisema, Ndifreke Effiong, Ocheme Edoh, Marshal Johnson, Wisdom Fernando
Jean Efala, Markson Ojobo, Chigozie Chilekwu, Emmanuel Charles, Nanen Barnabas Imenger, Alberico Da Silva, Mfon Udoh.
Rangers: Nana Bonsu, Tope Olusesi, Ugwu Uwadiegwu, Tony Shimaga, Isiaka Oladuntoye, Semiu Liadi, Bobby Clement, Michael Uchebo, Godwin Aguda, Ajani Ibrahim, Chiamaka Madu
Japhet Opubo, Chidera Ezeh, Ifeanyi Egwim, Felix Ogbuke, Christian Madu, Ousmane Pape Sane, Ugochukwu Ugwuoke
WHAT THE COACH SAID