NPFL: Plateau Maintains Top Spot as Home Teams Win
Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) leaders, Plateau United maintained its stronghold on the topflight with a 1-0 defeat of bottom-placed Remo Stars in a Match-day 21 clash in Jos yesterday.
Hamzat Owolabi was the hero of the day as his lone strike in the 43rd ensured that Plateau stays top of the table. That win takes Plateau United’s point haul to 39 from 21 games.
Elsewhere, El-Kanemi Warriors kept the pressure on the Jos team moving to the second spot on 36 points with a 2-1 victory over visiting Rivers United in Maiduguri. The Port Harcourt team was hoping to build on the success it recorded over FUS of Morocco in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Samuel Mathias who Warriors leading scorer added to his goals when he converted a 10th minute penalty to give El-Kanemi a 1-0 lead. The goal was Mathias’ 11th of the season, just three short of NPFL top scorer MFM’s Stephen Odey who has 14 goals but is away in Eagles camp in France.
Bala Yahuza made it 2-0 in favour for El-Kanemi in the 81st minute before Rivers United made it a nervy conclusion to the game as Onoriode Odah scored in the 92nd minute.
El-Kanemi leapfrogged MFM into second place
In Minna, MFM’s struggle since the commencement of the second round of the league continued as they lost 3-0 to Niger Tornadoes. The Lagos club had been held to a 0-0 draw last week by Akwa United.
Wilfred Ammeh and Wikili Abdullahi (brace) scored Tornadoes’ goals in the 37th, 45th and 51st minutes respectively.
MFM were without star duo Odey and Sikiru Olatunbosun who are currently in France with the Super Eagles.
In the Oriental derby, Sunday Adetunji scored his 10th and 11th goals of the season as Abia Warriors took full advantage of playing at home by battering champions Rangers 4-0.
Adetunji opened the scoring in the sixth minute before Anthony Okemmiri added a second in the 15th minute.
In the 63rd minute, Adetunji grabbed his second goal to make it 3-0 before Obi Samson completed the rout by scoring on 86 minutes.
In Nnewi, a brace from Godwin Obaje secured a 2-0 win for IfeanyiUbah against Kano Pillars.
Obaje gave IfeanyiUbah the lead in the 13th minute before doubling the lead on 47 minutes from the penalty spot.
IfeanyiUbah have now gone eight games unbeaten in the NPFL, the longest by any team this season.
In Makurdi, Shooting Stars suffered their second straight defeat with a 3-0 loss to Lobi in Makurdi.
Two goals from Kingsley Eduwo in the 11th and 40th minutes, and an 89th minute goal by Sunday Akleche gave Lobi Stars the convincing win.
In Akure, Enyimba were beaten 1-0 by Sunshine Stars.
A 67th minute penalty converted by Ajibola Otegbeye sealed the win for coach Austin Eguavoen side.
And in other Match-day 21 results, Akwa United without Alhassan Ibrahim who is in France with the Super Eagles defeated 10-man ABS 3-0, Nasarawa United overcame Wikki Tourists 2-0, while Gombe United managed a 1-0 home win against Katsina United.
MATCH-DAY 21 RESULTS
Plateau Utd 1- 0 Remo Stars
Tornadoes 3-0 MFM
El Kanemi 2-1 Rivers Utd
Sunshine 1-0 Enyimba
Abia Warriors 4-0 Rangers
IfeanyiUbah 2-0 Pillars
Lobi Stars 3-0 3SC
Akwa Utd 3-0 ABS
Nasarawa 2-0 Wikki
Gombe Utd 1-0 Katsina Utd