Seven-time champions Enyimba and one-time winners Lobi Stars kicked off their 2019 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Playoffs with a win on the first day of the playoffs on Tuesday, June 4 at the Agege Township Stadium in Lagos.
Enyimba and Lobi Stars got the two wins in day one of the 2019 NPFL playoffs while the other game between Kano Pillars and Akwa United ended in a 2-2 draw.
The Oriental Derby was the first game of the 2019 NPFL Playoffs at the Agege Township Stadium in Lagos as Enyimba took on Enugu Rangers.
Enyimba dominated the whole game from start to finish but only got their win with a goal from Joseph Osadiaye four minutes into the second half.
The People’s Elephant would have scored more but they lacked the cutting edge in the final third while Ikechukwu Ibenegbu struck the woodwork with a superb free kick.
In the second game of the day, Godspower Aniefok powered the Promise Keepers to come from behind twice to get a 2-2 draw against 10-man Kano Pillars.
Kano Pillars took the lead twice but Akwa United equalised all in the four-gilled first half. David Ebuka gave Pillars the lead after he took advantage from an atrocious defending from Denis Nya in the second minute.
Ndifreke Effiong Udo equalised for Akwa United from a well-worked goal in the 30th minute but Pillars regained the lead just three minutes later through Nyima Nwangwa.
It also took three minutes for Akwa United to equalised through Aniefok who headed home a cross to level the score at 2-2 before halftime.
The second half was a tighter affair with few chances while Pillars had to hold on for a few minutes after Ifeanyi Nweke saw red for a cynical foul in the 90th minute.
Lobi Stars finished the day off with a 3-1 win over FC IfeanyiUbah in the 7 pm kickoff. Samad Kadiri scored in the second minute for Lobi but FC IfeanyiUbah equalised just before halftime through Ebetomame Tega.
Kadri completed his brace with another goal in the 60th minute before Alimi Skiru sealed the win for Lobi Stars in the 63rd minute.
Lobi Stars top the table after day one in the 2019 NPFL Playoffs with three points and a better goal difference than Enyimba who also have the same points.
The 2019 NPFL Playoffs continue in Lagos on Thursday, June 6 with Akwa United taking on FC IfeanyiUbah in the first game of the day.
Enugu Rangers and Lobi Stars will square up in the second fixture of the day while Kano Pillars and Enyimba will battle in the 7 pm kick off.
Enyimba 1-0 Rangers
Kano Pillars 2-2 Akwa Utd
Fc Ifeanyi Ubah 1-3 Lobi Stars
Day 2 fixtures
Thursday, June 6
3 PM: Akwa United vs FC IfeanyiUbah
5 PM: Rangers Int’l vs Lobi Stars
7 PM: Kano Pillars vs Enyimba