Two-time African champions Enyimba on Sunday dethroned champions Rivers United in an explosive clash to win the 2022/23 Nigeria Professional Football League title after playing out a 1-1 draw in the last game of the NPFL Super 6 playoffs in Lagos on Sunday, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

Thanks to a better goals difference, the stalemate was enough for the People’s Elephant to claim their ninth league title — and the winners prize of N100m, the highest ever paid in the league — ahead of Remo Stars, as they both finished the playoffs on nine points.

Ekene Awazie lashed on to a failed clearance inside the Rivers box to hand Enyimba the lead going into the break but Nyima Nwagua restored parity for the holders early in the second half.

Rivers needed a win to retain their title, but their firepower in the second half was met by a resilient Enyimba defence. As a result, they dropped to third position on the table with nine points and will manage a place in the CAF Confederation Cup, while Enyimba and Remo will play in the CAF Champions League.

After an underwhelming first season under Finidi George, Enyimba have now won their first NPFL title in four years and also returned to the CAF Champions League after missing out last term.

Coincidentally, Enyimba’s last title before this was during the abridged season in 2019, when they won the playoffs with 12 points.

The People’s Elephant won their first NPFL title in 2001 and followed it up with back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003. Their fourth and fifth titles came in 2005 and 2006 respectively before adding the sixth and seventh in 2010 and 2015 respectively.

Remo beat Insurance, seal Champions League spot

Following their 1-0 win over Bendel Insurance in the second game of the day, Remo Stars, with nine points, were in contention for a place in the CAF Champions League playoffs as they temporarily moved to the top of the table before the kick-off of the final game between Enyimba and Rivers.

A first half goal from Kudus Akanni was enough for Daniel Ogunmodede’s side to see off Insurance for their second win of the playoffs and their first ever win over the Benin Arsenal.

While the potential title decider between Enyimba and Rivers ended in a draw, Remo rued missing the chance to score more goals against Insurance, which could have won them the title, but the eventual result of the last game still confirmed their place in the CAF Champions League playoffs for next season.

For Insurance, the defeat against Remo was their second of the playoffs and the entire season and it saw them drop to fifth on the Super 6 table with just three points from five matches.

Sunshine sign off with Lobi win

In the first game of the final day, coach Edith Agoye rang a few changes to his side as Sunshine Stars made their Super 6 appearance count with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Lobi Stars – their only win of the tournament.

Stephen Chukwude opened the scoring for Sunshine with a diving header 22 minutes into the game, while midfielder, Michael Olalusi, pounced on a cut-back to double the advantage going into the break.

Elijah Ani reduced the deficit for Lobi with their first goal of the playoffs in the second half, but Vincent Temitope sneaked in between Lobi’s defenders to meet a sumptuous pass from Promise Awosanmi to restore Sunshine’s two-goal cushion.

The 3-1 win moved Sunshine to fourth on the table with five points, finishing above Insurance, who ended the playoffs with three points. With two points and without a win in the tournament, Lobi are the lowest ranked team in sixth place.

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