There were a flurry of goals and a red card as the much postponed Nigeria National League (NNL) Super Eight got off to a rip-roaring start at the Enyimba International Stadium Aba on Sunday.
Twelve goals from four matches on Matchday 1 provided the sort of excitement that left many wondering why certain clubs ever considered boycotting the tournament in the first place.
In any case on the evidence of what was witnessed on the first day of action, Matchday 2 on Monday has a lot to live up to if the players can overcome exhaustion and fatigue.
Gombe United and Kogi United got the ball rolling in the first game of the day and James Onoja’s effort to put Gombe United ahead in the second minute of the first half provided a pointer to what was in store for the remainder of Matchday 1.
Gombe went into the break ahead but
In the second game of the day, Bendel Insurance completely outclassed Delta Force to win three-nil courtesy of first-half strikes from Charles Omokaro and Micheal Enaruna.
A red card in the 34th minute for Nduka Eze ensured that Insurance went into the break two goals and a man up. Emmanuel Nwangboje completed the rout in the 69th minute when he scored the third goal for Insurance.
It was a Kaduna derby in the day’s third game as Kada City FC and Real Stars squared up in the 4 pm kickoff.
Real Stars took the lead through Emmanuel Kelvin in the 21st minute but Kabiru Sanusi struck on the stroke of halftime to send both teams into the break level.
Jamilu Coker put Kada ahead in the 65th minute and just when Kada thought they were home and hosed, Daniel George struck a late equalizer in the third minute of added time to break Kada’s hearts and snatch a draw for his side.
The last game of the day was a hugely entertaining encounter between Remo Stars and Shooting Stars Sports Club with Remo running out three nil winners.
The result flattered Remo and was an injustice to the excellence displayed by Shooting Stars.
Edoka Owoicho put Remo ahead in the 34th minute with further goals coming from Awoyemi Abiodun in the 74th minute and former Shooting Stars player Olufemi Oladapo in the 85th minute although Shooting Stars will feel hard done by after Mutiu Isiaka had an effort in the 58th minute ruled out for offside.
The second round of matches comes up on Monday 6 January at the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba.
NNL SUPER 8 MATCHDAY 1 RESULTS.
Gombe United 1 -1 Kogi United (James Onoja 2’ – Ibrahim Enese 62’).
Kada City FC 2 – 2 Real Stars (Kabiru Sanusi 45+2’, Jamilu Coker 65’ – Emmanuel Kelvin 21’, Daniel George 90+3).
Bendel Insurance 3 – 0 Delta Force (Charles Omokaro 12’, Michael Enaruna 15’, Emmanuel Nwangboje 69’).
Remo Stars 3 – 0 Shooting Stars Sports Club (Edoka Owoicho 34’, Awoyemi Abiodun 74’, Olufemi Oladapo 85’).
NNL SUPER 8 MATCHDAY DAY 2 FIXTURES, 7 JANUARY 2019.
Real Stars v Gombe United – 8 a.m
Kogi United v Kada City FC – 10 a.m
Delta Force v Shooting Stars Sports Club – 12 p.m
Bendel Insurance v Remo Stars – 6 p.m