The stadium was packed to the Brim

Pandemonium ensued in Enugu as A thing of Joy turned sour as the much-hyped oriental derby drew a record mammoth crowd to the cathedral, this helped boost the ratings of the League, the potential Nigeria Premier Football League title decider between leaders Rangers and defenders Enyimba in Enugu was tagged abandoned as the Aba side stopped playing after a penalty was awarded against them deep into the dying embers of stoppage time.

The oriental derby at a sold-out Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium whose capacity is 20k but was carrying about 35k was 0-0 and in the 11th minute of added time in the second half when the referee awarded a penalty to hosts and league leaders Rangers, for a pull on a striker on goal.

Enyimba felt the penalty awarded was soft and that the added time had gone on for too long as the fourth official had indicated eight minutes, originally.

The Aba side confronted the referee and vehemently protested the award of the penalty and walked out as crowd trouble ensued, leading to the match being abandoned. It was also reported that Enyimba fans first invaded the pitch to disrupt the match.

Prior to the build-up of the match, Rangers were leading the table with 61 points, two ahead of Enyimba in second place. Opinions are split on the fairness of the penalty, as the Enyimba defender seemed to pull back the Rangers striker who was attempting a shot on goal inside the box.

A win last night would have allowed Rangers to establish a five-point lead over Enyimba with only two matches remaining in the season.

The NPFL has said nothing on this matter but announced via their social media platform X;

Rangers 0-0 Enyimba #RANENY #NPFL24 #TheFinalStretch

The match was interrupted after a penalty was awarded to the Rangers in added time.

Away from the Negatives of the Great masterpiece.

– Over 30k fans saw the Oriental Derby

– Over 10 million Naira was made from ticket sale

– The match recorded the highest number of away fans in a decade.

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