Three away wins, two draws, 18 goals in nine matches, averaging two goals per game wrapped a superb weekend in the Glo Nigeria Premier League. The champions, Kano Pillars claimed the bragging rights in the big clash against rivals Enyimba.
Below is Npfl.ng’s round up of the nine matches as they went down across the country on Sunday.
Kano Pillars 1-0 Enyimba
Despite missing a number of their key players like Gambo Muhammed, Reuben Ogbonnaya, Eneji Otekpa and Adamu Hassan, Kano Pillars edged Enyimba in the big clash of the match day. Ubong Moses Ekpai scored the winner just before half time from outside the box. Enyimba finished the game with 10 men when their captain Chinedu Udoji was sent off for a second bookable offence in the last 10 minutes. Pillars move into sixth place with six points while Enyimba drop to 10th position.
Bayelsa Utd 1-0 FC Taraba
It was a game in which Bayelsa United laboured to break the resistance of a resolute FC Taraba side. But with 18 minutes left in the game, Jafar Buhari headed home from close range to give Bayelsa United their first win of the season. FC Taraba return to Jalingo after their first loss wondering what could have been, and have now dropped from the top of the table to fourth place.
Kwara Utd 1-3 Heartland
Heartland were rampant in the first half hour of this match after Ahmed Jimoh gave Kwara United the lead in the ninth minute. But Heartland clawed back into the game with goals from Mohammed Mohammed, Jimoh Oni and Bright Ejike to finish the first half with a 3-1 lead. That proved just enough to end the game as the Owerri club are now top of the league with nine points from three matches played so far. They have an outstanding match against Kano Pillars.
Lobi Stars 2-2 Sharks
Lobi and Sharks produced a four-goal thriller in Makurdi. Jaiyeola Yusuf scored the opening goal in the sixth minute before Uche Ihurualam equalised for Lobi Stars. After an hour, Eche Idakwo gave Lobi the lead but substitute Bode Daniel will deny the home team a first league win of the season as he rifled home the equaliser for Sharks with two minutes to full time. Lobi should have won late in the game but Moses Bunde failed to convert a spot kick. Sharks are in ninth place while Lobi climb two places to 12th.
Akwa Utd 1-0 Gabros FC
After disappointment of losing their last three matches in all competitions, Akwa United finally won their first league game of the season. But they left it very late when Mgbem Chukwujike finished off a counterattacking move in the 82nd minute to the delight of their coach, Zachary Baraje. Akwa United now occupy 13th position and Gabros drop four positions to eighth.
Rangers 0-1 Giwa FC
This is one of the shocking results of the match day as Giwa FC defeated Rangers in Enugu. After a goalless first half, Shuaibu Ibrahim scored from a free kick. Rangers toiled and toiled by producing chance after chance but failed to make any of them count as it looks like their title drought of three decades would continue. The Flying Antelopes have dropped into the bottom three and Giwa FC have made progress by leaping into the top five.
Abia Warriors 1-2 Wikki Tourists
Wikki showed guts and zest to claim a big away win in Umuahia. Ahmed Mohammed Yusuf scored their first goal in the 51st minute. Seventeen minutes later, Chisom Chikatara equalised for Abia Warriors from a penalty but Godwin Obaje put the game to bed as Wikki ran away with a 2-1 win.
Nasarawa Utd 0-0 Shooting Stars
The only game that produced no goal on the day. Shooting Stars had started the match day with no point after two straight losses to Wikki and Heartland but they put up an outstanding performance especially their goalkeeper Abiodun Akande. The 0-0 draw leaves both teams in the bottom half of the table though Shooting Stars still remain in bottom place.
Sunshine Stars 2-1 Dolphins
The late kick-off also threw up drama by the bucket load as Sunshine Stars came from a goal down to win 2-1 including a very late goal. Chinwendu Ali gave Dolphins the lead against the run of play before Tunde Adeniji failed to convert a spot kick to put Sunshine Stars on even terms. But Adeniji made amends in the third minute of the second half by rifling the ball past Sunday Rotimi. Prince Aggreh, who had a poor game scored the winner inside added time when it looked like Dolphins were leaving Akure with a point. Sunshine Stars are now third on the league table.