Enyimba and Lobi Stars Tuesday got off to winning starts in the NPFL championship playoffs, while Kano Pillars and Akwa United played out a thrilling 2-2 draw.
Enyimba pipped regional rivals Enugu Rangers 1-0, while Lobi Stars overpowered FC Ifeanyiubah 3-1 with striker Samad Kadiri grabbing a brace.
Akwa United and Pillars staged a thriller after Ebuka David put the Kano club in front after just three minutes.
However, Ndifreke Effiong drew ‘The Promise Keepers’ level on 31 minutes before Nyima Nwagua restored Pillars lead two minutes later.
The lively Godspower Aniefiok ensured both teams went into the break at par with his 37th minute equalizer for Akwa United against his old club.
Pillars were reduced to 10 men after defender Ifeanyi Nweke was sent off on the dot of 90 minutes.
The playoffs will continue Thursday, when Rangers take on Lobi Stars, Kano Pillars battle Enyimba and Akwa United slug it out with surprise team FC Ifeanyiubah. The overall winners and the runners-up will represent Nigeria in next year’s CAF Champions League, while the third-placed team feature in the CAF Confederation Cup.