Ten-man Enyimba yesterday won their seventh Nigeria league crown with a game to spare after they held Warri Wolves to a goalless draw in front of over 40,000 fans at the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba. Enyimba needed just a point in their final home game against closest rivals Wolves and they did just enough to get the job done. ‘The People’s Elephant’ clinched the championship with a round of matches to spare as they have 69 points, six points clear of Wolves. The best away form of the season – five wins and seven draws – earned the two-time African champions Enyimba the league title five years after their last conquest. Warri Wolves gave a good account of themselves and they are expected to end the season as runners-up to earn a ticket to next year’s CAF Champions League with a home win over relegated FC Taraba on the final day of the season next week. After a rather cagey first 45 minutes, the second half opened up after Nigeria U23 forward Daniel Etor was sent off for punching Gbolahan Salami in the 50th minute. Joseph Osadiaye had a good chance to put Wolves in front in the 54th minute when the lively Stanley Dimgba found him with a fine cross from the right, but he blasted his effort well off target.
Five minutes later, Enyimba striker Mfon Udoh fired at target from inside the box, but it missed narrowly. In the 64th minute, Peter Onyekachi saw his powerful header off Markson Ojobo free kick scream into touch. In the first half, much of the action was concentrated in the middle of the park and there were very few clear-cut chances in front of goal. Very early on, Wolves midfielder Lordson Ichull risked a diving header inside his own box to ensure Mfon Udoh did not pull the trigger. Enyimba top striker Peter Onyekachi could have done better when a long ball found him, but his control was poor to allow goalkeeper Okiemute Odah pull off a save. At the other end of the pitch, Stanley Dimgba weaved his way behind the Wolves defence but Gbolahan Salami was quickly crowded out by three Enyimba defenders. – Vanguard.