By Jonathan Ugbal
The Enyimba football club of Aba Saturday in Calabar progressed to the CAF confederation cup after beating Katsina United 1-0 on match day 38 of the 2016/2017 season of the Nigeria Professional Football League NPFL.
It took less than 10 minutes for the People’s Elephant to break the deadlock after Stephen Chukwude thunderous header went past Katsina United’s goalie, Yinka David.
The goal was assisted by Stanley Dimgba who curled in an inch perfect cross from a corner kick.
Chukwude nearly turned provider in the 27th minute when he did a nice flick to Chinonso Okonkwo who volleyed over.
Season revelation, Ikouwem Udoh limped off on the 35th minute with Kelly Kester replacing him.
The remainder of the first half was played out with a slower pace.
But, 5 minutes into the second half, Yinka David was called into action again by Enyimba’s Ikechukwu Ibenegbu as he tipped the attacker’s free kick onto the cross bar and to safety.
12 minutes later, Ibenegbu will be denied by Yinka again on the 62nd minute when his free kick was saved by the Katsina united goalie.
Ibenegbu will make it a hat trick of misses from dead balls when a third free kick from 19 yards came off the cross bar on the 77th minute.
The match continued on an energetic pace and slowed in the dying stages when Enyimba who have played their home games at the U.J Esuene stadium in Calabar, the Cross River State capital held on to win 1-0.
Katsina united failed to take chances of note until referee Olayinka Olajide blew the final whistle after the expiry of the 2 minutes extra time added by fourth official, Obayemi Olatunbosun.
The victory ensured Enyimba secures the ticket to CAF’s secondary football competition for the next season despite Akwa United beating of Kano Pillars 4-0 on the final day with Plateau United clinching the title and progressing alongside MFM FC to the CAF champions league.
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