.As Warri Wolves Beat Champions, Pillars 2-0 In Super 4 –
Abdulrahman Bashir, Enyimba’s new signing netted a hat-trick for Enyimba of Aba to thrash Bayelsa United, as Warri Wolves beat Kano Pillars 2-0 on the opening day of the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, Super 4 in Abuja on Friday.
Bashir who jioned the Elephant from ABS FC of Iloring ahead of the new season has already started repaying the dividends, after he scored in the 41st, 68th and 73rd minutes in their match against Bayelsa.
Enyimba got the first clear chance at goal when another new signing Mfon Udoh tried to chip goalkeeper Gideon Gambo in the 11th minute. Seven minutes later, Bayelsa United’s Kabiru Sanusi headed wide from a tight angle.
Mfon Udoh again failed to hit target in the 21st minute, when he was one-on-one with Gideon, who turned the ball away for a corner kick.
Goalkeeper Gambo was on hand to make another save when he punched away Rasheed Olabiyi’s header in the 22nd minute off Thomas Zenke’s corner kick.
Emmanuel Anyanwu cut out Bayelsa attack when he nodded out Mutiu Adegoke’s inviting cross in the 24th minute, while Enyimba’s Sokari was brought down by Dengo in the 26th minute for a free kick.
Bernard Okorowanta headed towards Enyimba’s goal in the 30th minute, but Chijioke Ejiogu in goal pulled a save. Kabiru Sanusi’s header in the 40th minute was saved by Ejiogu.
However, in the 41st minute, Bashir broke the deadlock when he jabbed in Markson Ojobo’s pass. The goal forced Bayelsa to come back strongly in the opening minutes of second half in search of an equaliser, but Ejiogu saved a long range shot from Bayelsa in the 53rd minute.
In the 68th minute of the encounter, Bashir doubled Enyimba’s lead when he chipped over Gideon.
He completed his hat-trick in the 73rd minute with a classical goal after his effort in the 71st minute was saved by Gideon.
In Friday’s other game, a more prepared Warri Wolves put Kano Pillars to sword. Wolves dominated the game and deservedly won 2-0.
The Warri club started the game on a high when Musa Najere and Kola Anubi hit the cross bar in quick succession in the fifth minute.
Three minutes later, Musa Najere fired at goal but Theophilus Afelokhai pulled a save. In the 31st minute, Bello Korfamata’s effort at goal was parried for corner by Okemutie Odah.
Kola Anubi however gave Wolves the lead in the 35th minute off Musa Najere’s well laid pass.
Skipper Goodluck Onamado cleared a ball on goal line at the tail end of first half to end the first stanza 1-0 in favour of Warri Wolves.
Daddy Bazuaye almost doubled Warri Wolves lead in the 58th minute, but his left-footed effort crashed against the woodwork with Afelokahi well beaten. Substitute Kingsley Ikpotor put an icing on the cake for Wolves very late on in the encounter.
Enyimba thus lead the standings in the tournament, with Wolves closely behind, while champions Pillars and Bayelsa are without any point for now.
On Sunday, Enyimba will battle Wolves, while Pillars take on Bayelsa at the same Abuja National Stadium.