Enyimba International has emerged the 2022/23 Nigeria Premier Football League NPFL champions after their final Championships Playoffs game against River United ended in a 1-1 draw on Sunday at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena.
Rivers United needed a victory to defend the crown they secured last season, while a draw would suffice for Enyimba. In the 38th minute, Ekene Awazie put Enyimba ahead, but Nyima Nwagua equalized for the Port Harcourt-based side in the 48th minute. Despite their efforts to secure a winning goal, River United faced a resolute defense from Enyimba.
This victory secures a spot for the People’s Elephants in the upcoming CAF Champions League, after they missed out on continental football during the 2022/23 season, finishing in seventh place in the previous season.
Enyimba, Rivers United, and Remo Stars all finished the round-robin playoff stage with nine points after five games. However, Enyimba claimed the championship title due to their superior goal difference. Sunshine Stars finished in fourth place, while Bendel Insurance and Lobi Stars concluded the season in fifth and sixth place, respectively.
In next season’s CAF Champions League, Enyimba will be joined by Remo Stars, who finished in second place ahead of Rivers United based on goal difference. Rivers United will participate in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Reacting to winning the trophy, Enyimba coach Finidi George says he is delighted and thankful.
“The boys put in their best to achieve this, I am so delighted and short of word.”