Enyimba International again became champions of the Glo Premier League 2014/2015 season on Sunday after a nil-all draw with Warri Wolves secured them an unassailable six-point lead on the log with one match day left to end the season, reports npfl.ng.
Excitement and ecstasy was what was all around the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba on Sunday as they saw off the game with a player expelled early in the second half.
The crowd, the music and the dance turned the arena into a carnival of sorts befitting a title-decider.
The game started on a lively note as both teams came out from the blocks exhibiting purposeful football but failing to create chances in the final third.
Wolves striker Gbolahan Salami could not connect Stanley Dimgba’s cross in the 9th minute, while a lovely quick counter from the hosts in the 17th minute was timely cleared by the flying head of Lordson Ichull.
The only half chance for Enyimba in the first half was when Peter Onyekachi was put through on goal but the ball was stopped by an onrushing Wolves’ goalkeeper Odah Okiemute.
Enyimba left-back Idris Aloma also could not get his effort on target in the 35th minute.
For all the Seasiders’ superior possession in the first half, Enyimba took the initiative with the introduction of Kingsley Sokari after Daniel Etor was issued a red card and they were able to grind the result needed to lift their seventh trophy.
Captain of the Peoples Elephant, Chinedu Udoji, was elated when he spoke with npfl.ng. “First and foremost, thanks to God and as you can see, it was not easy as Warri Wolves gave us a lot of trouble and a good fight.
“I give them kudos because I know they have a very sound technical crew and good players. God has brought us this far and given us this victory.
“This is the only trophy I have not won as a captain but finally it has been accomplished,” Udoji stated as fans surrounded him adoringly.
Asked how much pressure was on the team after the 50th minute expulsion of first half substitute, Daniel Etor for punching an opponent in the face, the influential skipper said: “I was not bothered with the red card though it became more difficult for us.
“We played with determination as we could already see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you really observed, we played better with a man down because at 11-11, they had more possession and controlled the game.”
Striker Peter Onyekachi on his part reflected on his humble beginnings coming from Abia warriors. “I am so happy because it is a dream come true.
“Before I came to Enyimba, I told myself that I was not coming for the money but to win the league and here I am with the trophy in my first year, so I give God all the glory,” he said to npfl.ng.
Asked if winning the league trophy for the first time since 2010 could change the fortunes of Enyimba on the continent, Onyekachi responded: “I believe that what we have done to win the league is not good enough but we will work harder from pre-season to start preparing on time and work as a team for the next season and when the continent come calling, we will be ready to conquer. I believe that with the caliber of coaches, management and players in our fold we can always make it in any level.
Qualifying for the CAF Champions League is a great feat but winning it is another thing, all we need to do is focus and we will not let our numerous fans down”.