This weekend promised to be entertaining and yes it was.
MFM lost away from home in Owerri as Ikorodu United lost on home turf. Rangers ascended to the top of the league table while Ikorodu United, descended to the relegation zone.
In total, 17 goals were scored at all 7 various match venues in the country by 17 different players. While in total this season, 135 goals have been scored.
Tony Okpotu scored his sixth goal of the season to still lead he scores chart and just as I predicted in my preview -an away win was recorded.
Here is my review of how magnificent the NPFL matches were, this past weekend:
SHOOTING STARS 1 VS 0 RIVERS UTD
3SC welcomed Stanley Egunma’s Rivers United to the Lekan Salami stadium, Ibadan on Saturday. It was the first and only game on Saturday and Kadiri Ikhana’s boys were up to the challenge. The game ended 1 – 0 for Shooting, who had the numerical advantage for about 55 minutes, as Ofem Inah was sent-off in the 40th minute for a foul on Olukokun.
Wasiu Jimoh’s solitary 40th minute strike from 12 yards, was all they needed to see off a very brilliant Rivers side. The goal was Wasiu Jimoh’s fifth of the season. Right now, he’s just a goal behind Tony Okpotu on the scorers’ chart.
The win moved Shooting Stars to 11th on the league table, up from 14th and also a place above Rivers, that dropped to 12th from 8th.
IKORODU UTD 1 VS 2 GIWA FC
Ikorodu Utd’s miserable run continued as they slipped to another defeat which was their first home defeat, against Giwa FC at the Onikan Stadium in Lagos.
Everything was looking well when Ojukwu looped an equaliser over Giwa’s goalkeeper in the 17th minute, after David Sunday had bundled the visitors ahead in the 5th minute. Unfortunately for Edema Benson, in his last game as Head coach, his side bottled in the 88th minute, allowing Amos Gyang to steal victory for Giwa FC.
The result surely left a bad taste, but worse than that, Ikorodu Utd slipped into the relegation zone. They currently are 17th and will slip further down if Enyimba, Sunshine Stars and Nasarawa Utd win any of their outstanding fixtures.
For Giwa FC, they moved from 12th to 9th on the log. More than what they came expecting. And also, the only away win recorded.
ENUGU RANGERS 3 VS 0 AKWA UTD
Rangers weren’t in smiling mood this weekend when Akwa United came visiting. At the end of hostilities in Enugu, Moris Cooreman’s Akwa United left without scoring a goal and conceding three in the process. Victors, Rangers, zoomed to the top of the league for the second time this season.
Bobby Clement put the host ahead in the 30th minute, Tope Olusesi added the second in the 52nd minute before increasingly influential Chisom Egbuchulam wrapped up all three points in the 73rd minute.
The result means that Akwa United drops a place down to 4th while Rangers rises to the summit of the league.
WIKKI TOURIST 2 VS 1 NIGER TORNADOES
By the time anyone knew what was happening in Bauchi, it was 1-1 with just eight minutes gone. A great way to begin the Northern derby. Eventually the home side secured a 2-1 victory.
Coach of Wikki Tourists, Adbul Maikaba will be a happy man, as the victory ensured his team moved four places up to 6th on the log, with only four points behind the league leaders.
Niger Tornadoes left Bauchi four places below to the postion the arrived with – 16th. Not something Abdullahi Biffo will cherish.
HEARTLAND FC 1 VS 0 MFM FC
NPFL high flyers, MFM FC were given a taste of their own medicine at the Dan Anyiam stadium on Owerri.
A 31st minute effort from Fortune Omoniwari was all Heartland needed to defeat the league leaders. Such a win was what Heartland were craving before the game.
Not even the turnout of MFM church members from the eastern region wasn’t enough to prevent defeat in what many described as a subdued performance from the Prayer Warriors.
Fidelis Illechukwu would hope that his boys quickly forget about this loss and concentrate on their midweek date with Kano Pillars. MFM FC relinquished their top position as a result of this.
They dropped to second, a single point behind Rangers. While Heartland just moved a single place up to 15th.
EL KANEMI WARRIORS 2 VS 1 IFEANYI UBAH
An upset was recorded at the Karkanda Memorial stadium, Borno state as Ifeanyi Ubah lost to one the leagues weakest sides, El-Kanemi Warriors.
Ifeanyi Ubah got off to a perfect start as Madubuchi Okereke put the Money Bags ahead in the 8th minute. That alone made the home fans unsettled and with the quality of players Ifeanyi Ubah paraded, they would have feared for the worst.
Surprisingly, Ibrahim Mustapha pulled The Borno Army level right on the stroke of half time. In the 75th minute, Agoha Otako scored El-Kanemi’s winner from the spot, after Ohanachom was fouled in Ifeanyi Ubah’s box. That was the goal that condemned Mikto Dobrev’s men to defeat.
Ifeanyi Ubah dropped a place down to 5th as El-Kanemi climbed out of the relegation zone to 16th position thanks to their second victory of the season.
PLATEAU UTD 2 VS 1 LOBI STARS
It was a dramatic event at the Rwang Pam stadium in Jos as Plateau Utd overcame Lobi Stars with 2 goals in two first-half minutes.
Tony Okpotu had inevitably put Lobi Stars ahead with his 6th goal of the season, in the 31th minute, only for Nuhu Julius to pull one back in the 1st minute of first-half added time. Like that wasn’t surprising enough, Sunday Ngede scored the winner seconds later in the 3rd minute of first-half added time.
In the second half, Plateau United successfully held on to their lead and confirmed Lobi Stars to yet another defeat on the road.
With this result, Lobi Stars dropped a place down to 7th while Plateau Utd moved three places up to 10th.
SHOOTING STARS 1VS 0 RIVERS UTD (Wasiu Jimohpen 40’)
IKORODU UTD1 VS 2 GIWA FC(Ojukwu 17’- David Sunday 5’Amos Gyang 88’)
ENUGU RANGERS 3 VS 0 AKWA UTD(Bobby Clement 30’ Tope Olusesi 52’ Chisom Egbuchulam 73’)
WIKKI TOURIST 2 VS 1 NIGER TORNADOES(Umar 69’ -Ismaila Gata 1’)
HEARTLAND FC 1 VS 0 MFM FC(Fortune Omoniwari 31’)
EL KANEMI WARRIORS 2 VS 1 IFEANYI UBAH(Ibrahim Mustapha 45’ Agoha Otakho 75’pen – Okereke Madubuchi 8’)
PLATEAU UTD 2 VS 1 LOBI STARS (Julius Nuhu 45+1’ Sunday Ngbede 45+3’ – Tony Okpotu 31’)
6- TONY OKPOTU (LOBI STARS)
5 – WASIU JIMOH (SHOOTING STARS)
4 – ISMAILA GATA (NIGER TORNADOES)
3 – FEDRICK OBOMATE (RIVERS UNITED)
3 – RABIU ALI (KANO PILLARS)
3 – GODWIN OBAJE (WIKKI TOURIST)
3 – SEKA PASCAL (IFEANYI UBAH FC)
CONTINENTAL FIXTURES (aggregate)
CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE:
Vital’O 2 – 1 Enyimba (3-6)
Al-Merrikh 1 – 0 Warri Wolves (2 – 0)
CAF CONFEDERATIONS CUP:
CS Constantine 4 vs 1 Nasarawa Utd (4 – 2)