Bashir Abdulrahaman scored a spectacular second half volley as Enyimba Football Club were held to a 1-1 draw in the Nigeria Professional Football League at the Agege Stadium on Sunday evening.
Abdulrahaman’s effort, four minutes after the restart, appeared to have set Enyimba on course for a famous win, but was only short lived as Chijioke Akuneto pulled the hosts level with a low drive from outside the box eight minutes after.
The build up to the match was heavily dominated by the return of Chukwuka Onuwa and Stanley Okorom to face their former side and Usman Abd’Allah handed the duo places in the starting line up.
After a cagey start from both sides, the game sparked up when Nelson Ogbonnaya gave away the ball in front of the box, but Michael Ohanu failed to capitalise.
The hosts were once again gifted a chance as Stanley Nwabali’s poorly taken free kick fell to Adewola Adeniji who fired well wide wide with the goalkeeper clearly out of position.
Enyimba slowly walked into the game afterwards with Onuwa central to a lovely attacking move with Abdulrahaman before the final ball was blocked.
Joseph Osadiaye and Dare Olatunji also tried out from distance with efforts that hardly troubled the goalkeeper.
With the half running out, Ohanu pounced on a mix up in the Enyimba backline, but only watched his chip over Nwabali stray wide.
Enyimba returned from the break looking better and soon had their noses in front when Nasiru Sani’s long throw was superbly hit into the right corner by Abdulrahaman. There was however little time for the visitors to celebrate the lead as Chijioke Akuneto picked up a pass from Elijah Akanni and shot into the bottom right to restore parity.
Enyimba quickly called on Thomas Zenke to replace Osadiaye and the substitute proved to be a worthy addition with marauding runs on the right flank.
Oladapo, coming from the bench for the first time this season, replaced Onuwa and played a role in a late spell which all but culminated in a late winner when Enyimba broke free with Abdulrahaman on the right, but the forward’s square play was cut out for a corner.
There was time for one more action in the closing stages with Farouk Mohammed stepping up with a crucial block to deny the hosts from clinching it at the death.
In the end, the result leaves Enyimba second in group A, three points behind MFM.
The seven times champions are now unbeaten in their last seven NPFL matches.