Kano Pillars pre-match warm-up

NPFL Play-offs Round 4 review

Four rounds of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) have been played and there is only one round left. It’s the one which will decide the 2018/19 NPFL Champion.

Kano Pillars, who were leading the table after round three, went up against the Enugu Rangers in this round for the first match of the day. First half of the game showed no goals but there were three yellow cards and two substitutions to keep us occupied.

Close to fifteen minutes into the second half, Kano Pillars finally took the lead after a great free kick from veteran player Rabiu Ali. The Rangers coach then made two changes but not before his team went down to ten men after Olusesi got his second yellow card of the game and naturally his marching orders. This happened in the 73rd minute of the game.

It was a tight matchup throughout with the Rangers trying to get an equalizer, finally getting a penalty a minute before full time. Godwin Aguda kept a cool head and put the ball in the net. In a closely fought game, with ten yellow cards given and one red, the Pillars lose a chance to go four points above Enyimba.

Kano Pillars pre-match warm-up

Kano Pillars pre-match warm-up – Facebook

The second match of the night was between Akwa United and Lobi Stars. Both sides needed a win to have any chance, even theoretical, of winning the NPFL title, bit it seemed that neither team wanted it bad enough. There were a few chances here and there, and Lobi Stars were seriously hampered by losing lead striker Sikiru Alimi early in the second period. Still, the match finished an uninspiring goalless draw.

The last match of the evening was between Enyimba and FC Ifeanyi Ubah. With their opponents out of contention for the title, Enyimba attacked hard from the start and scored the opener in the 19th minute through Reuben Bala. That sparked the other team up a bit, and they fought back to equalize in the 31st minute, courtesy of James Promise.

Before halftime though, Bala scored his and Enyimba’s second, restoring the lead. After the restarts, Enyimba secured a win with a goal from Abdulrahman Bashir in the 56th minute of the game.

The Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars and FC Ifeanyi Ubah won’t be winning the title this year while Akwa United still have a mathematical chance. They would need to beat Enyimba with a high score in the last round and hope Kano Pillars draw or lose.

Enyimba is currently on the top of the table with nine points with Kano Pillars right behind them with eight points. Akwa United sit in third with six points.

To find the best odds for the last round of the NPFL play-offs visit Merrybet.

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