NPFL Matchday 8 Reviews: Rampant Pillars gain precious point against Sunshine

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Underfire Ikon Allah Boys and Harmony Warriors bagged crucial home victories while Sai Masu continued impressive run in Akure

Go Round 1-0 Abia Warriors

The Ngozi Elechi men recorded their third home win of the season after Okon Otop early minute strike earned maximum points. Go Round went into the tie decided at the Krsidera Hotel Stadium on the back of their 1-0 away loss to Rivers United in the Port Harcourt derby played last week and they swung into business from the blast of the referee’s whistle and held on till the end.

Abia Warriors came into the tie hoping to secure away comfort after they were held to a goalless draw at home by Enugu Rangers last week but the Emmanuel Deutsch side had no answers to the early forays of their hosts.

Go Round moved to 12th in the league standings with 10 points from eight games while the Umuahia side dropped to the relegation zone as they are presently 19th with eight points from as many matches.

 

Niger Tornadoes 1-0 Nasarawa United

The Ikon Allah Boys technical crew and the management were given four match winning ultimatum at the start of the match on the orders of the Niger State Government because of their unimpressive campaign in the topflight and they responded very businesslike with the crucial win at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja on Sunday.

It was a home reprieve for Erasmus Onuh and his boys when Segun Alebiosu smashed home what turned out to be the match-winner in the 11th minute of the tie. The hosts defended their lead for the rest of the 80 minutes or thereabouts to record their first win in five matches.

It was a painful road defeat for Kabiru Dogo and his men who had visited Lokoja with the hope of getting their first away points of the season.

Tornadoes are 15th in the league table with nine points from eight games while Nasarawa United are 14th with nine points also.

                                               

Enugu Rangers 1-0 El Kanemi Warriors

The Borno Army fought like wounded lion in Coach Imama Amapakabo’s first match in charge of the team since he was appointed Technical Adviser because of his involvement in CHAN with the Super Eagles but they were still beaten courtesy of Kelvin Itoya’s goal which came inside the final 10 minutes of the encounter played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.

The Flying Antelopes couldn’t find an answer to the robust play of El Kanemi who came to Enugu with their former coach and when it was as if the game was headed for a draw, Itoya rose up to the challenge to the delight of home fans. It was his second goal of the season and both have guaranteed Rangers six points.

The home win has taken the Flying Antelopes to fifth in the league standings with 13 points from eight games while El Kanemi are last in the league log with eight points from eight encounters.

 

FC Ifeanyiubah 2-0 Heartland

It was yet another Oriental Derby to be remembered for both teams. It was the Anambra Warriors first win from their last three games while for the Naze Millionaires the tie marked the end of their unbeaten away run.

The hosts struck first in the 25th minute through Ekene Awazie and they doubled their advantage in the 53rd minute through Pascal Seka, the Ivorian who profited from hesitant defending from Heartland to ensure that his team walked away with the vital win.

FC Ifeanyiubah were in dire need of a home win after their inconsistencies of late and they quickly got down to business immediately the game started and it was no surprise they surged into the lead in the first half before Seka’s goal silenced the visitors.

The win was enough to take the Ladan Bosso side to the top 10 as they are currently ninth in the league standings with 10 points while Heartland slipped from seventh spot to 10th with 10 points also.

 

Kwara United 2-1 Katsina United

The John Obuh men were under intense pressure before the game kicked off as an indifferent result could have turned sour for the home team and they owed their crucial win to the quick fire strikes of Emeka Godwin and Alfred Stephen in the 50th and 53rd minutes of the match. The Chanji Boys did get a goal in the 85th minute through Martins Ursule but it was too little too late.

The Harmony Warriors were last in the league standings before the tie but the win has taken them two places further up but still within the drop zone. They are 18th with nine points while Katsina United are eighth with 10 points from eight games.

 

Sunshine Stars 0-0 Kano Pillars

The Owena Whales were boosted ahead of the tie by the decision of the League Management Company to allow them complete the registration of seven of their newly signed players but that couldn’t still inspire them to a home win against rampant Sai Masu Gida who have thus extended their unbeaten run to five games.

Duke Udi and his boys tried all what they could to return to winning ways after the demoralizing 5-0 loss to Plateau United in Jos but they couldn’t match the intensity of their visitors.

Sunshine Stars are gradually plummeting in the league table after a brilliant start to the season. They are currently seventh with 12 points from eight matches after going as far as fourth few weeks ago.

Kano Pillars with Ibrahim Musa as coach are gradually warming their ways to the top of the table and their latest draw as seen them go level on points with second placed Plateau United, though they have played a game more than the league reigning champions. They are third with 15 points from eight games.

 

Yobe Desert Stars 1-0 Rivers United

The Pride of Rivers took over four days to prepare for this tie in Damaturu but they still couldn’t summon up the courage to halt the unbeaten home run of Yobe Desert Stars at the August 27 Stadium on Sunday.

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The Mohammed Babaganaru men are in their debut campaign in the topflight but the results they have posted after eight games are intimidaating for a league newcomers. They have beaten Lobi Stars, Katsina United, Wikki Tourists all at their fortress in Damaturu before they added Stanley Eguma men to their victims.

Rivers United were only 10 minutes away from a precious point before Philip Asuquo converted the winning goal via penalty kick after an infringement in the visitors’ vital area.

Yobe Stars have moved to sixth in the league table with 13 points from eight games but Rivers United slipped to joint 12th along with their neighbours, Go Round with 10 points from eight games.         

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