Rivers United striker Emeka Ogbugh has become the first player to win the VAT Wonder Goal award twice over two seasons after he emerged with the highest votes for the Matchday 31 shortlisted goals.
Ogbugh’s goal against Wikki Tourists in added time of the fixture polled a total of 2,843 votes to beat Abayomi Adebayo of Shooting Stars to second place. It was a close race between the two but FC Ifeanyiubah’s Isaac Loute earned the highest vote from the voters on Twitter with 112 of the 311 votes. Ogbugh polled 106 while Abayomi polled 71 leaving the rest 22 votes for Destiny Ashadi of Katsina United.
In the website voting where a total of 5,419 fans voted, Ogbugh polled 2,737 ahead of Abayomi who picked 2,336 votes to bring his combined total to 2,407.
Ogbugh, while playing for Heartland FC of Owerri last season had won the Wonder Goal award but switched to Rivers United after the Owerri side were relegated. Guy Keumian Venance opened scoring for the hosts after 10 minutes and in added time of the first half of the match against Wikki Tourists, Ogbugh received a lob from the right flank at the edge of the box, controlled with his chest and fired a shot that sailed in for the second of their 3-0 win.
He became the 12th player this season to win the award which attracts a cash prize of N150,000 half of which will be donated to a charity he will nominate from within the state. He also joins teammate, Ayo Saka who won the award on Matchday 20. It also made Rivers United the second club to have two players winning the award this season after Remo Stars that has had Ochowechi Salefu and Victor Chidume.
The VAT Wonder Goal award is a community investment initiative of the League Management Company (LMC) to promote club and community engagement. It is supported by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) which seeks to promote tax education on the platform of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Votes are cast by fans for shortlisted players on the NPFL website, www.npfl.ng and the twitter handle, @LMCNPFL.