NPFL: Enyimba thrash Kwara United in Aba

Eyimba beat Ahli Benghazi in Confederation Cup opener

Enyimba FC on Sunday climbed to the fourth position on the League Table after dimming Kwara United’s continental hopes

Victor Mbaoma scored a brilliant hat-trick to give Enyimba an emphatic 3-0 win over Kwara United in a MatchDay 33 encounter decided on Sunday morning at the Enyimba Stadium, Aba.

The game, earlier scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon was moved by sixteen hours at the behest of Kwara United.

Enyimba took the early lead on the third minute when Mbaoma finished off a counter-attack spearheaded by his attacking partner Christian Ekong.

Mbaoma got his second in the 15th minute through a brilliant finish to Farouk Mohammed’s pass before completing his hat-trick in the 54th minute after good work by winger Sadiq Abubakar. The third goal took Mbaoma’s tally for the season to fifteen goals, one ahead of the trio of Ishaq Rafiu, Chijioke Akuneto (both Rivers United) and Yusuf Abdulazeez (Gombe United) at the summit of the scorers chart.

The win seems to shatter Kwara United’s continental hopes while it takes Enyimba to 4th on the log, same points with Rangers who occupy the final continental position. Both Rangers and Remo Stars (who were in 3rd and 4th before Sunday) face tricky away games later on Sunday evening.

Enyimba are still without their head coach Finidi George who is in Morocco with Nigeria’s senior team but his first assistant, Deniran Ortega who took charge of Sunday’s game told after the game that his team simply capitalised on their opponents’ weakness.

“We knew how the game would play. We were able to use their weakness because we know they’re stressed,” said Ortega.

“They came with a game plan to go back so we can play the game on a neutral ground so bringing them back on the way is a mental stress so we capitalised on it.

“Our players followed the instructions from the coaches. We played against a good side nonetheless but we are able to capitalize on their mental stress,” added the former Warri Wolves coach.

Ortega also spoke on the immediate inclusion of hat-trick hero Mbaoma who missed their last three matches due to international engagement.

“It was very easy to bring back Victor Mbaoma into the team because we were monitoring his performances there. He was playing with the big boys so, now he knows he needs to remain at the big boys’ level. I spoke to him and he responded well,” said Ortega.

Kwara United Chief coach Lukman Ijaiya attributed his team’s loss to the uncertainties that surrounded this fixture since yesterday.

“We passed through so many stress yesterday and we can see the match ended in the first half. All these stress affected our players a lot so there’s nothing we can do about it,” the former Shooting Stars and Kwara United forward told reporters.

“The fatigue, the mindset affected us. I am naturally disappointed with the loss because the goal margin was too much for me but we will go back home to get more points and help our chase,” he added.

Kwara United will host Sunshine Stars on MatchDay 34 in Ilorin while Enyimba will travel to relegation hunted MFM FC.

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