Enyimba beat Pillars to NPFL pre-season glory

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Enyimba International FC of Aba on Tuesday won the 2013/2014 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) pre-season football tournament.

Enyimba, who defeated the NPFL defending champions Kano Pillars by a lone goal, smiled all the way home with a giant trophy and a cash reward of N1.5 million.

The winner, who finished the tournament on nine points, did not concede any goal in the three matches played in the tournament.

Enyimba had earlier defeated Warri Wolves and Bayelsa United 2-0 and 3-0 respectively. It beat Kano Pillars by a lone goal to carry the trophy.

Warri Wolves finished second on the log with six points.

Wolves, who suffered 2-0 and 2-1 defeats to league champions and Bayelsa United respectively, went home with cash prize of one million naira.

It was not a good outing for league champions, Kano Pillars as they managed to finish third on the log after recording a 2-1 win over Bayelsa United.

Pillars pocketed N750 000 in spite recording only one win in the tournament, while Bayelsa finished the tournament on the fourth place after losing their three matches.

They went home with N500 000.

The head coach of Enyimba, Zachary Baraje, said the win would spur the team in its first Confederation of African Football (CAF) champion’s league match against Anges De Notse of Togo.

“I am now going to concentrate on my final preparation towards the continental match on Feb. 9, am looking forward to entering new season on a good note,” Baraje said.

He said that the pre-season tour as well as the encounter with the Togolese club would prepare the team for its first NPFL encounter away to Nasarawa United.

“We will be working towards not only winning our home matches, but also at away, like I did with El-Kanemi Warriors last season.

“This, however, depends on if we get good officiating,” he added.

The chief operating officer (COO) of the LMC, Salihu Abubakar, said the conclusion of the pre-season tournament was an indication that the new league season was around the corner.

Abubakar said the LMC would follow-up the pre-season tournament and workshop with the inspection of 17 stadia expected to host the NPFL matches.

According to him, clubs would be made to lose their home ground for league encounters if it failed to meet LMC standard.

pacetv reports that the tournament was organised by the League Management Company (LMC) and was played at the National Stadium in Abuja.

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