ENYIMBA FC-1Enyimba International on Sunday emerged the new champions of the Nigerian Professional Football League for the seventh time after battling second placed Warri Wolves to a scoreless draw in Aba.

The match which was played before a capacity crowd of over 30,000 spectators at the Aba International Stadium saw the people’s Elephant playing a better part of the tie with a man down following a red card issued to Otor Ezekiel for hard tackle on Gbolahan Salami. Despite the numerical disadvantage, Enyimba held their nerves and nearly took home the maximum points. However, the draw increased Enyimba’s tally to 69 points from 37 games with a game to spare, beyond the reach of Warri Wolves or any other team in the competition.

Enyimba won the title in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2010. The club also clinched the CAF Champions league trophy in 2003 and 2004.

Elsewhere, Dolphins came from behind to beat Heartland 2-1 at the Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt. Nigerian premier league legend, Victor Ezeji gave the Naze Millionaires the lead in the 15th minute but Dolphins turned the tie around with goals from Christian Weli and Chinwendu Ali to claim maximum points that could prove vital for their league survival.

Sunshine Stars also came from a goal down to beat relegated Bayelsa United 2-1 in Oghara. The struggling Akure Gunners secured the maximum points with goals from Medrano Tamen and Luther Iyorhe after Jafar Buhari had put the home team in front.

The second Port Harcourt club, Sharks also achieved a major breakthrough in their relegation battle with a 1-0 win over Kwara United with Christian Pyagbara netting the decisive goal at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium.

Charles Okoro’s solitary strike was all that Giwa FC needed to pip Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC)1-0 at the Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos. Nasarawa United also beat FC Ifeany iUbah 2-0 with Philip Auta and Thomas Zenke on targets for the host.

El-Kanemi Warriors also beat Wikki Tourists by a lone goal courtesy of Chinedu Ohanachom goal while Anthony Agbaji and Anthony Okpotu netted as Lobi Stars ran out 2-0 win over inconsistent Enugu Rangers in Makurdi to ease their relegation worries.

FC Taraba won a thrilling contest 2-1 against Abia Warriors while a Rabiu Ali penalty proved the difference between Kano Pillars and Akwa United as the dethroned champions won 1-0 at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.

By Olisemeka Obeche

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