NPFL: Joseph Osadiaye gives Enyimba winning start in Super Six
Enyimba got off to a winning start in the Nigeria Professional Football League Super Six on Tuesday as they pipped Enugu Rangers 1-0 at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.
After a barren first half, a solitary strike from Joseph Osadiaye in the 50th minute was enough to hand the People's Elephant the winning start they craved, in what was another installment of the Oriental derby in the NPFL.
Ikechukwu Ibenegbu made his long-awaited return to the Enyimba starting line-up and the trio of Theophilus Afelokhai, Andrew Abalogu and Ogbonnaya also received Coach Usman Abd'Allah's nod for starting roles.
On his part, coach Gbenga Ogunbote opted to have the trio of Michael Uchebo, Koffi Roland and Chidiebere Okoli lead his three-man attack.
As expected in Oriental derbies, both teams started quite brightly though they were cautious in their approach to the game.
It was Enyimba who had the first go at goal but Ibrahim Mustapha's volley from outside the box went wide in the ninth minute.
Rangers' Michael Uchebo also tried a long range shortly thereafter, but his strike went straight into the waiting hands of the Enyimba goalkeeper Afelokhai.
The first booking was given to Ibenegbu, who was cautioned for diving by the referee in the 22nd minute, and in the 44th the midfielder almost broke the deadlock but his freekick crashed into the crossbar.
With the first-half ending in goalless, both sides seemed even more determined after the break.
It was Enyimba who got the much-awaited breakthrough when Osadiaye, in the 50th minute, got the better of his marker and hung onto the ball before blasting into the far right of the goal to give the People's Elephant a deserved lead.
Rangers fought hard for an eqauliser as they dictated the pace after going behind, but hard as they tried they could not penetrate the seasoned Enyimba defense.