NPFL action came alive last weekend as match centres across the country hosted games in numbers. Three derbies were witnessed in different parts of the country and above all, unlimited excitement was recorded in most of the match venues.
This weekend saw Rangers return to the top of the league after flooring Ifeanyi Ubah at the Nnamdi Azikwe stadium in Enugu.
Chisom Egbuchulam scored his sixth goal of the season and will be hoping top scorer, Tony Okpotu wouldn’t score when Lobi’s game against Abia Warriors takes place on Monday morning.
Here is my recount of actions:
The weekend’s action kicked-off with a well anticipated oriental derby between, league leaders Ifeanyi Ubah and second placed Rangers of Enugu. And as predicted earlier in the week, Imama Amapakabo led his side to victory with a solitary strike from star player, Chisom Egbuchulam.
The goal which was scored very early in the game was Egbuchulam’s 6th of the season and aided Rangers’ ascension to the top of the league table.
MFM FC’s fire seems to have been doused. Their win-less run extended to three when they visited Warri Wolves and lost. Oghenewo Uzezi’s 71st minute effort was the deciding factor in this game. Fidelis Illechukwu and his boys will return to Lagos knowing results need to start changing as they are already doing a ‘moonwalk’ on the league table.
After wrecking their home record last season, Nasarawa United got off to a flying start at the Sani Abacha Stadium, taking a 15th minute lead through Esosa Igbinoba.
Unfortunately for them, the trend wasn’t set to continue. Adamu Mohammed leveled the game in the 38th minute before Gambo Mohammed scored Kano Pillars’ winner late into the first half to continue pushing for a top four place.
Shooting Star were handed another away defeat, this time, it was away to Laden Bosso’s El-Kanemi side.
El-Kanemi are gradually picking up form after a sloppy start to the season. In the game, two 2nd half goals from Ibrahim Mustapha in the 57th minute and Ohanachom late in the game, secured maximum points for the Borno Army against Kadiri Ikhana’s wishes.
Heartland recorded a hard fought victory over Rivers United at the Dan Anyiam stadium in Owerri. Anthony Oussou put the host ahead in the 24th minute before Nonso Okonkwo netted an equaliser. Ajunwa grabbed a late winner in the 78th minute to send the fans of Heartland into ecstasy.
Abia Warriors lead this game thanks to a goal from Godwin Effiong in the 12th minute. The game was eventually called off due to heavy rainfall. It will resume on Monday, 11th of April 2016 by 10:00am.
Ikorodu Unted’s win-less run extended to 7 in as many matches when they played out a goalless draw with Sunshine Stars of Akure. Ikorudu will feel aggrieved about the result because of the penalty they failed to convert late in the game. They still remain deep in the relegation zone. While it remains to be seen, if they will get out of it, it’s a different story for Sunshine Stars who will take the draw as progress.
Plateau United beat Gbenga Ogunbote’s Giwa FC 2 – 0 a well anticipated derby in Jos.
Both teams share the same stadium which created a massive build up to the tie. Having already built 3 points gap over Plateau, Giwa were seeking to extend that advantage over their city rival unfortunately Benjamin Turba 63rd minute effort and Sunday Ngede‘s 65th minute strike put the game to bed in 2 minutes. The results mean both teams are now level on the same points. Definitely not the way Gbenga Ogunbote would have wanted it to be.
Akwa Utd recovered well from their surprise loss to Abia Warriors during the week by easing past Niger Tornadoes.
After surrendering their 100% home record during the week, Maurice Cooreman’s boys returned to status quo at the Goodswill Akpabio international stadium, with a 2-0 victory over Abdullahi Biffo’s Tornadoes. Ubong Ekpai opened scoring in the 38th minute while Cyril Olisema put the game to rest in the 61st minute.
Here are the full scorelines for this past weekend’s fixtures
RANGERS 1 VS 0 IFEANYI UBAH (Chisom Egbuchulam)
WARRI WOLVES 1 vs 0 MFM FC (Oghenewo Uzezi 71’)
KANO PILLARS 2 VS 1 NASARAWA UTD (Adamu Mohammed 38’ Gambo Mohammed 45’ – ESOSA IGBINOBA 15’)
EL-KANEMI 2 vs 0 SHOOTING STARS (Ibrahim Mustapha 57’ Ohanachom 90+1’)
HEARTLAND 2 vs 1RIVERS (ANTHONY OUSSOU 24’ Ajunwa 79’ – Nonso Okonkwo 38’)
ABIA WARRIORS 1 vs 0 LOBI STARS (Godwin Effiong 12’) POSTPONED
IKORODU UTD 0 vs 0 SUNSHINE STARS
PLATEAU 2 vs 0 GIWA (Benjamin Turba 63’ Sunday Ngende 65’ )
AKWA UTD 2 vs 0 NIGER TORNADOES (Ubong Ekpai 38’ Cyril Olisema 61’)
CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
ENYIMBA 3 – 0 ETOILE DE SAHEL (MFON UDOH – 3 GOALS)