The fireworks lit the Agege skies as Enyimba were crowned winners of the 2018/19 Nigeria Professional Football League last night.

After three years of wandering in Enugu, Jos and oblivion, the Nigerian league title found its way back home to Aba for the record eight time.

Goals from Reuben Bala, Stanley Dimgba and Abdulrahaman Bashir gave Enyimba a 3-0 win over Akwa United in their last game of the 2019 Nigeria Professional Football League Playoffs at the Agege Stadium in Lagos. The Peoples Elephant finished top of the table with 12 points from five matches and didn’t need to bother about the last game of playoffs between Lobi Stars and Kano Pillars.

Kano Pillars were the only team that defeated Enyimba after the game was played in two days, no thanks to the heavy downpour on Matchday 2. Pillars had the title in their hand but slipped by conceding a late penalty to Rangers on Matchday 4. They drew 1-1 and the melee that followed had captain Rabiu Ali banned for 12 matches and Kano Pillars fined 8 million Naira.

Enyimba capitalized on the slip, sped past bottom placed FC IfeanyiUbah 3-1 on Matchday 4 and squashed Akwa United who were without Brazilian Coach Rafael Everton.

Placed in Group A in the regular (abridged) season, Enyimba huffed and puffed their way to secure the last playoff spot behind Rangers and Lobi Stars. They had to wait till the last matchday to confirm their position. Rangers were run away leaders. Lobi Stars got a point at relegated Remo Stars while MFM FC couldn’t pick a point at relegation threatened Sunshine Stars.

Enyimba came to Agege with business in mind. They were 1-0 winners over Rangers in the opening game, lost 2-0 Kano Pillars before three consecutive wins over Lobi Stars, FC Ifeanyiubah and Akwa United.

The eight league title puts Enyimba ahead of Rangers (7 league titles) as the most successful team in the league.

Will coach Usman Abdallah win the 2019 AITEO Cup to make it a double?

Congratulations to Enyimba – Nigerian Champions.

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