Plateau United FC of Jos are Champions of the 2016/2017 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) season after defeating Enugu Rangers by two unreplied goals at the Rwang Pam Stadium on Saturday, September 9th, 2017.
The Lalong boys who have been at the summit of the the league table for 34 weeks, became the second team from Plateau State to win the league title, after their eternal rivals Mighty Jets won it in 1972.
The Technical Adviser of the team, Kennedy Boboye, made wholesome changes to the team that drew at home to Rivers United in the last game, with the likes of Bitrus Wash, Dele Ajiboye and Emeka Umeh favoured ahead of the of Hamisu Sale, Ayo Segun and Hamzat Owolabi.
The changes paid dividends as Emeka Umeh and Kabiru Umar linked up well in the early stages of the game to create plethora of chances. Itodo Akor who manned the post for Rangers, was impressive between the sticks and tried to thwart the efforts of the home side.
United finally broke the deadlock in the 25th minute when Peter Eneji’s beautiful footwork in the 18 yard box found Emeka Umeh, who slotted the ball into the back of the net. That was Umeh’s sixth goal of the season.
Enugu Rangers who started the game with former Plateau United playmaker, Bright Silas, were only able to create half-chances, with Dele Ajiboye not having much to do in the early proceedings of the game. Nevertheless, they were able to hold United’s attack at bay, to keep the scoreline respectable going into half-time.
Rangers however started the second half with more vigour as they began to create real chances, with Emma James clearing a goal bound effort from Charles Henlong. The seven-time champions however fizzled out as the game wore on, with Daniel Itodo causing a lot of problems with his long throws.
In the 75th minute, Peter Eneji, who had been a thorn in the flesh of the Rangers defence, swiveled his way past two Rangers players deep in their half, but his final touch lacked enough power as his shot flew wide of the post.
The victory was not in doubt when Benjamin Turba who came in for Emeka Umeh, tapped in from close range after a scrabble in the 18 yard box of Enugu Rangers to give Plateau United the Victory.
The team amassed a total of 66 points from 38 match days.