Enyimba’s Chijioke Mbaoma scored a hat trick as Peoples Elephant defeated Bendel Insurance 4-3 yesterday to move to the top of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) Dozy Mmobuosi Foundation pre-season tournament.
The result means that Enyimba is guaranteed a place in the final, regardless of the outcome of the remaining games.
Nwobodo gave Rangers the lead after 56 minutes, but Samuel Ayorinde, who was voted man of the match, equalized for the Shooting Stars.
Enyimba and Seguros had a fireworks-filled first half that produced five goals with Seguros winning the locker room 3-2.
Mbaoma scored the first of his three goals eight minutes into the game, but Insurance moved up a level through Divine Nwachukwu on 30 minutes.
Micah Odojumo put Edo Arsenal ahead five minutes later, but Mbaoma equalized after three minutes only for Sodje Stevens to score a potential tournament goal a minute later.
In the second half, Chisom Okereke brought Enyimba back just minutes after the restart, before Mbaoma completed his hat-trick.
The former Heartland player, who was voted Most Valuable Player (MVP), said after the game that his goals are proof of what he is bringing to Enyimba.
“I joined Enyimba to score goals and it has only started from this tournament, which I am confident we will win,” Mbaoma told the media.
In the final group stage matches of the tournament, which returns to Mobalaji Johnson Stadium, Lagos, from Remo Stars Stadium, Ikenne, Rangers will take on Bendel Insurance, while Enyimba will play Shooting Stars.
The top two teams will play the final on Friday to determine the overall winner.
The tournament has a prize package of N100m.