In the early kickoff of one of Monday’s MatchDay 6 double header fixtures at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi, former champions, Enyimba International secured their first away victory for the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) 2020/2021 season.
Two first half goals from Anayo Iwuala and Imoh Obot was enough for the people’s elephant to travel back to Aba with the maximum points in spite of the consolatory goal by captain Idris Abubakar for Adamawa United from a spot kick. Enyimba’s Captain, Nelson Ogbonnaya had infringed on Emmanuel Ibekwe inside the penalty area in the second half.
Adamawa United Coach, Zakka Bello had kept faith with his goal keeper and defensive line that suffered 3-0 defeat at Plateau United, while alterating the offensive line up by replacing Stanley Nnanna and Ogbuagu Emmanuel with Emmanuel Ibekwe and Surajo Hassan respectively.
Enyimba Manager, Fatai Osho also made two changed to the side that lost 1-0 to Kwara United in Ilorin midweek as Tosin Omoyele and Dare Olatunji started ahead of Samad Khadiri and Philip Ozor respectively.
As early as the fifth minute, brilliant and lively Anayo Iwuala caused tense moments for Adamawa United, springing unmarked to head so close a lofted cross from Tosin Omoyele.
The experienced winger would get his goal three minutes later by smashing in a poor goal keeping clearance off Tosin Omoyele’s effort to give his side an early lead.
Adamawa United responded well with a fine move which fell for forward Emmanuel Ibekwe whose effort was saved by John Noble.
Former Delta Force playmaker Iwuala missed a golden chance for a second of the day after curling the ball just over the cross bar from another Tosin Omoyele pass six minutes before the half hour mark.
The score line would turn dire for the home side as overlapping left back Imoh Obot easily tapped home an inviting low cross from Dayo Ojo to end the first half two goals up.
Lack of fluency and accuracy in the final third from the home side continued during the second half but their only goal would come via a spot kick following a harsh tackle by Ogbonnaya on Ibekwe inside box. Idris Abubakar stepped forward with a fine volley with Enyimba’s goalkeeper, Noble diving the wrong way on 75 minutes.
Osho showed squad dept as he reinforced his attack with Victor Mbaoma and another prolific forward Samad Khadiri in place of Tosin Omoyele and Orok Gabriel respectively. Mbaoma, a former Remo Stars forward waltzed into Adamawa box before blasting a shot that crashed against goalkeeper Victor Philemon’s left post late on.
There was a scare however in the camp of Enyimba as substitute Felix Kenan’s spectacular left footed effort off Adam Yakubu’s delivery almost beat Noble. The Enyimba goalkeeper however did well to keep the ball out to ensure his side walked away with the maximum points.
It was the former champions first triumph on the road this season while Adamawa United continue their search for the first win of the season. Next for the Yola side is a trip to Porthacourt to face Rivers United while Enyimba will welcome Katsina United in Aba for MatchDay 7 fixtures.
16 Victor Philemon
26 Mbai Aminu
30 Jibrin Abubakar
6 Abba Haruna
14 Etete Okon
11 Isa Garba (Tunde Adams 61′)
7 Sale Muhammed (Henry Ochuba 87′)
8 Adam Yakubu
21 Suraju Hassan
32 Idris Abubakar
41 Emmanuel Ebekwe (Felix Kenan 61′)
25 Friday Achimugu
13 Edward Elam
10 Micheal Burate
5 Nanushi Daniel
1 John Noble
22 Stephen Manyo
24 Nelson Ogbonnaya
5 Hassan Abubakar
29 Imo Obot
4 Anthony Omaka
28 Dayo Ojo (Cyril Olisema 81′)
30 Dare Olatunji
17 Anayo Iwuala
19 Orok Gabriel (Victor Mbaoma 57′)
11 Tosin Omoyele (Samad Khadiri 57′)
12 Olufemi Kayode
3 Daniel Darkwah
6 Nabil Yarou
16 Philip Ozor
Anthony Omaka (63′)
Adamawa United 1-2 Enyimba
On Target 3-4