Musa Najare fired Enyimba FC past FC Taraba and back to the top of the Glo Premier League in Monday’s rescheduled Match Day 25 game.
The striker came off the bench to score a 76th minute goal that broke a resolute FC Taraba that had kept Enyimba at bay for most of the game and ultimately ensured the six-time champions secured three vital points.
With the tight race for the league title, Enyimba needed an outright win to maintain their grip at the top of the table following Sunshine Stars’ 5-0 demolition of El Kanemi on Sunday, but a stiff Taraba defence almost ruined the party for Kadiri Ikhana’s men.
The trident of Ifeanyi George, Peter Onyekachi and Mfon Udoh were selected by Ikhana to lead Enyimba’s attacking line but the first half proved all too familiar for The People’s Elephant, as they struggled to fashion out clear cut chances and convert the few opportunities they had.
It came as no surprise then when Ifeanyi George and Mfon Udoh were replaced soon after the restart by Etor Daniel and Musa Najare respectively, the change proved significant.
First, Etor Daniel was hacked down in the box and earned Enyimba a penalty, but Markson Ojobo – one of the club’s leading goal scorers and who had never missed from the spot this term – took a poor kick and failed to beat FC Taraba’s Obilo Ikechukwu.
Ojobo’s missed penalty deepened the anxiety of the home players and their display became harried and frantic, but Musa Najare showed none of it after he was picked out by Peter Onyekachi.
The former Abia Warriors man had missed a glorious chance in the first half but he made amends with his assist.
For FC Taraba, it was an agonizing moment after their spirited performance on the day but for the hundreds in the stands who had braced the cold Monday to watch their team, it was pure bliss.
It was not an attractive win after all but it won’t matter as Enyimba storm back to the top of the pile with 48 points from 25 games.
The team will travel to Sharks for their Match Day 26 fixture on Sunday.