NPFL Matchday 3: Enugu Rangers shock Heartland in Oriental Derby

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The Flying Antelopes’ surprise win in Owerri and victories for home teams in other games are the highlights of the weekend topflight ties

Wikki Tourists 1-0 Niger Tornadoes

Wikki Tourists put up a brilliant display at their adopted home in Jos to record their second win of the season after Mustapha Ibrahim’s effort in the 63rd minute guaranteed them a place in the top 10 after three games. They were able to bring the Ikon Allah Boys ably led by new coach Erasmus Onuh, who had won their first two games, to their knees.

Wikki who will be guest of Kwara United on Wednesday are ninth in the league table with six points while Tornadoes who were among the pacesetters after two games have dropped to fifth with the same six points from three games. Tornadoes will welcome Akwa United to the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja during the midweek tie.


FC IFeanyiubah 2-0 Kwara United

Godwin Obaje continued his irrepressible start to the season after he netted his third goal of the campaign from three games on Sunday in Nnewi to steer the Anambra Warriors to a comfortable home win over the Harmony Warriors. The hotshot scored the opening goal in the 23rd minute before Ekene Awazie put the game beyond the reach of the visitors in the 63rd minute.

As a result, the Harmony Warriors have now lost all three opening games.

FC Ifeanyiubah are third in the league standings with six points from three games ahead of their next tie with MFM in Lagos on Wednesday while Kwara United are last on the league table with no point and they will be targeting their first win of the season when they tackle Wikki Tourists on Wednesday in Ilorin.


Akwa United 2-0 Yobe Desert Stars

The Promise Keepers kept to their promise of ensuring that they return to winning ways on Sunday on the back of their insipid performance at Omoku last Wednesday after they pinned the Damaturu side led by Mohammed Babaganaru 2-0 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.

Victor Mbaoma who was acquired for the season from Remo Stars hit the bull’s eye for the hosts in the 31st minute and almost immediately Michael Ibe doubled the advantage a minute later to hand his side their second victory of the campaign.

The Abdu Maikaba-led side are second in the league table with six points from three games ahead of their tricky road tie to Lokoja against Niger Tornadoes on Wednesday while Yobe Desert Stars return to Damaturu as they face Lobi Stars on Wednesday.


Lobi Stars 1-0 Go Round

The Pride of Benue virtually hung on to keep their unbeaten run at home intact which also ensured that stay on top of the league table as the only team yet to suffer a defeat in the three-week-old season.

The Makurdi side started in the fast lane and could have been ahead by as many as four goals in the first half but they could only hold on to Samad Kadiri’s second-minute effort.

Solomon Ogbeide's side are at the summit of the top-flight log with seven points from three games.

They face Yobe Desert Stars on Wednesday while Go Round are 15th in the league standings from three ties. They will face Heartland in a repeat of their battles in the lower league and, recently, the Nigeria National League Super Four final where they pipped the Naze Millionaires to win the title in Lagos.


Heartland 0-1 Enugu Rangers

The Flying Antelopes have succeeded in beating their Oriental brothers for the second time in three seasons in Owerri with the latest win ending the Naze Millionaires’ unbeaten start to the season.

Rangers who were yet to record a point before the tie in Owerri left no one in doubt regarding their ability to shock their hosts and they were rewarded for their disciplined defence throughout the encounter at the Dan Anyiam Stadium. Bright Silas surprised the Heartland fans with the curtain raiser in the 10th minute of the match.

In the 45th minute, Heartland were awarded a penalty kick but Lucky Emeriojake’s effort ricocheted off the crossbar.

18th-placed Heartland will make a short trip to Omoku as they face Go Round on Wednesday while Enugu Rangers, 16th in the log with three points from three games, will trade tackles with Katsina United.


Katsina United 2-0 Enyimba

The Chanji Boys have made it back-to-back home win against the People’s Elephant after their masterclass performance earned them a 2-0 win at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium in Katsina on Sunday.

Martin Usule scored the lead for the hosts in the 29th minute while Usman Barau wrapped up the victory in the 66th minute as they recorded their first win of the campaign while Enyimba are still without a win.

Katsina United are 11th in the league table with four points from three games as they prepare to face Enugu Rangers on Wednesday while Enyimba are 19th on the log with two points from the same number of games. Enyimba will host Nasarawa United in Calabar on Wednesday also.


Nasarawa United 2-0 Sunshine Stars

The Solid Miners have managed to turn their bad start to the season around after they inflicted on the Owena Whales their first loss of the season at the Lafia Stadium on Sunday.

Douglas Achiv scored his club’s first goal of the season in the eighth minute while Ishaya Anyu doubled their lead from the penalty spot just immediately at the restart of the second half.

Nasarawa United moved up to 14th in the league table with three points from three games while Sunshine Stars are 12th with four points from three ties too. Kabiru Dogo's men will travel to Calabar to face Enyimba while Sunshine will be at home to Rivers United. Both games take place on Wednesday.


Rivers United 2-1 Kano Pillars

The Pride of Rivers overcame the stern challenge of Sai Masu Gida to earn their second victory of the season at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium on Sunday.

Bakari Bamba got the Stanley Eguma's men curtain raiser in the 19th minute but Kano Pillars bagged the equalizer through Junior Lokosa who netted his third goal of the campaign in the process. Ivorian striker Guy Kuemian settled the contest with his team’s second goal of the game in the 56th minute. It was Kuemian's second goal of the season after scoring against El Kanemi Warriors in the first game of the season.


Abia Warriors 1-0 Plateau United

Just like it was last season, the Warriors managed to beat their adversaries from Jos by the odd goal at the Umuahia Township Stadium on Sunday.

Plateau United came into the tie with two consecutive wins from two games and they were expecting a soft landing against Abia Warriors who are yet to resolve their technical crew crisis.

The Warriors struck through Samson Obi in the second minute and it sealed the maximum points to the delight of new coach, Emmanuel Deutsch.

Abia Warriors are sixth in the league table with six points from three games while the Kennedy Boboye men are seventh with six points.

The Umuahia side will travel to Kano to face Kano Pillars on Wednesday while Plateau United must shake off their latest defeat if they are to get a result against El Kanemi Warriors on Wednesday also.


El Kanemi Warriors 3-1 MFM

The Borno Army are showing no signs of missing Nura Mohammed who is away with the CHAN Eagles in Morocco after they brought the Olukoya Boys down to earth with the crushing defeat in Maiduguri on Sunday.

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Bello Kofarmata, Ocheme Edoh and Sunday Anthony scored for El Kanemi in the 64th, 69th and 89th minutes while MFM reduced the arrears in the 76th minute through Adekunle Adegboyega.

El Kanemi are fourth in the league table with six points from three games while MFM have plummeted to 17th with three points.

The Borno Army have a Wednesday date with Plateau United in a repeat of the pre-season friendly tie which they won 2-1 while MFM will have the honour of hosting FC IfeanyiUbah.       

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