Enyinnaya Kazie Njoku’s name does not appear on the scoresheets of Rivers United despite having a wonderful game in week 29 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) 2021/2022 season.
The right-back has no doubt been one of the most consistent performers for his team for the past three seasons. His tenacious displays week-in and week-out have made him a top choice for head coach Stanley Eguma.
When it mattered the most, Kazie scored what turned out to be the winner in Sunday’s MatchDay 29 encounter with Remo Stars at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt, on Sunday.
With the visitors providing answers to everything the hosts had thrown at them, Kazie’s incredible anticipation proved decisive with fourteen minutes left on the clock.
Rivers United had a free kick awarded to them at the edge of the box. While Morice Chukwu took his kick, Kazie made a move at the far post in case of a possible rebound, and he got just that, the ball ricocheting off his chest and into the net after Remo goalkeeper Kayode Bankole had saved.
“I feel very happy and excited about scoring an important goal for my club today.” It is a great feeling to be the match-winner in a tough league game like this,” Kazie told newsmen.
Sunday’s game, between 1st and 4th on the log, was a feisty and highly tactical one, which made attackers of both teams gasp for breath for most parts of the encounter. Kazie believes it was one of their toughest games this season.
“Yes, I think the game was the most difficult game we have played this season”, he affirmed. “They showed us why they are up on the table and played with good strength and defense.
“You know, there was a time they were even top of the table, and that shows how good they are. The away leg in Ikenne was also difficult for us and we were happy that we got a draw, the same way we’re happy with the win today. “
There are nine match days left to play in this season’s league campaign. Rivers United currently have a seven-point cushion at the top of the table, with 2017 winners Plateau United in second place.
Kazie, whose brother, Izundu, won the league with Enyimba in 2019, is confident his team will not let their lead slip.
“I’m very confident we will go on to win this league because my teammates and I know the importance of our winning the league. We believe it is our time to shine and we will continue to work hard till we achieve our goal,” said Kazie.
On Match Day 30, Rivers United will make the short trip to Uyo for a date with Dakkada FC, who are battling for their lives at the lower rung of the ladder.