The Oriental Derby has seen Enyimba defeat Enugu Rangers 2-1 in the rescheduled MatchDay 20 of the Nigeria Professional Football League at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba on Thursday.
From the blast of the whistle, Enyimba took the game to their visitors, troubling their goalkeeper, Seidu Mutawakilu.
In the 3rd minute, the early pressure paid off as Victor Mbaoma opened the scoring following an assist from Super Eagles creative midfielder, Anayo Iwuala
Three minutes later, Rangers’ Ibrahim Olawoyin was fouled and the resulting freekick was fumbled by John Noble which gifted Israel Abia an easy goal as he tapped into an empty net.
The Aba Warriors continued to mount pressure on their visitors and it paid off in the 32nd minute when Cyril Oliseme restored Enyimba’s lead a superb volley from close range after receiving a chested pass from Iwuala.
Buoyed by the goal, the home side continued to search for the insurance goal which refused to show as the game ended 2-1 in favour of Enyimba.
Enyimba who have two more outstanding games moved up to sixth position with 44 points while Rangers dropped to 7th position on 42 points after playing 27 matches.
Meanwhile, MatchDay 28 continues on Saturday when table toppers, Akwa United take on relegation threatened Adamawa United at the Nest of Champions.
On Sunday, Dakkada FC will battle Enugu Rangers while Rivers United will play host to Katsina United.
Enyimba will have another opportunity to get into the top four when Nasarawa Utd comes to town while IfeanyiUbah will welcome Heartland.
Kano Pillars will seek to dim the stars of Jigawa Golden Stars when they take a trip to Jigawa while Lobi Stars will welcome Kwara Utd.
MFM FC will seek to return to winning ways against Wikki Tourist just as Platea Utd will avoid being devoured by Warri Wolves while Sunshine Stars will look to shine over Abia Warriors.
The original Oriental Derby was the game between two of the biggest clubs from the old Eastern Region, Rangers International and Iwuanyawu National (now Heartland).
The derby got that name when both Rangers and Iwuanyawu National (now Heartland) were both sponsored by Oriental Airlines. This was before the emergence and dominance of Enyimba in Nigeria football.
Today, whenever teams from South East play against each other it’s called the Oriental Derby (with exclusion of Abia Warriors vs Enyimba which is Abia derby).
The most prominent Oriental Derby today is the game between Rangers and Enyimba. This game in particular has given the derby the hype it has today considering that the two teams involved are the most successful teams in the league.