NPFL Week 11 Round Up: Sibi Gwar hat trick gives Enyimba victory over Kano Pillars
The reigning champions were humiliated in Aba but still stay in on top after ABS and Bayelsa United stopped the attempts of the Akure Gunners and the Flying Antelopes to go top
By Kolade Oni
ENYIMBA 3-0 KANO PILLARS
This is no doubt the result of the week after the Peoples Elephant gave the league holders another reality check as they were beaten 3-0 courtesy of the individual ingenuity of Sibi Gwar who netted a hat trick in the 31st, 39th and 68th minutes to the surprise of coach Baba Mohammed Ganaru who blamed poor officiating for their loss.
Pillars got a draw from the same tie last season and the Aba Millionaires had to bring out something special in order to steal a point back then but this term Enyimba played against a completely out of sort Pillars. Though Pillars still remain in first spot on the log after two consecutive heavy losses at Rangers and Enyimba have left them no longer invincible and with time they may find it difficult even grinding out results at home.
Pillars have 19 points from 10 fixtures while Enyimba have 16 points with seven points secured from a possible nine from their last three games. They are eighth on the log.
SUNSHINE STARS 0-0 ABS
The Akure Gunners would have moved to the top of the league table with an outright win at home over ABS in Akure on Sunday but they allowed the opportunity slip by with the drab draw.
The Ilorin club had been beaten 1-4 at the same turf during the pre season but Sunshine strikers had no code to unlock the defence of the away team this time.
ABS thus got a point from their two road trips having lost the first in Maiduguri 1-4 against El Kanemi Warriors. Sunshine are second on the log with 18 points and they must put their acts together if they want to get anything out of their next away tie against El Kanemi while ABS are still in the relegation zone with 12 points from 11 games as they welcome troubled Sharks of Port Harcourt to Ilorin this mid week.
SHARKS 0-0 3SC
The Blue Angels have not done themselves any good at all with a draw against bad travellers, the Oluyole Warriors at the Sharks Stadium, Port Harcourt on Sunday.
Sharks are still bottom of the league table with 10 points from 11 ties while 3SC who secured their first away point of the season from six away matches are now on 16 points from 11 games and are placed seventh.
It should be put on record that goalkeeper Laide Okanlawon was in superb form for the Ibadan team as he thwarted all Sharks' attempts to score the crucial goal. The 3SC goalie will still need to be at his best this mid week as they welcome tough customers, Heartland of Owerri in a Week 12 cracker while Sharks will seek better time in Ilorin against ABS.
HEARTLAND 2-1 AKWA UNITED
The Naze Millionaires held on to the two goals they scored in the first half for another important home win against the Uyo team. Ebere Odiche who was playing against his former club opened his account of goals for the Owerri side in the 13th minute but John Aguda stunned Heartland's supporters with the equaliser for Akwa United two minutes after the home team’s curtain raiser. Heartland however restored their lead in the 28th minute through Akor Isah Umoru and they never relinquished that lead till the referee signalled the end of the match.
It should be noted that the revered Naze Millionaires are still cash strapped but the players have not let that to demoralise them as they continue putting in their best for the interest of the club.
Heartland have 16 points and are placed in mid-table from 10 games while Akwa United are on 13 points from 11 in 16th place. Heartland will have their hands full on Thursday against 3SC who are yet to drop any point in Ibadan while Akwa United will entertain wounded Enugu Rangers in Uyo.
ENUGU RANGERS 1-1 BAYELSA UNITED
The Flying Antelopes couldn't reclaim their first position from Pillars after they allowed Bayelsa United to get a draw at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu on Monday night.
Oghogho Oduokpe got Rangers' goal but they were left brooding their missed chances when Samuel Agba ensured a share of the spoils for the Yenagoa side.
It was Rangers’ fourth point from three games having given Wikki Tourists a free three points when they failed to honour their Week 10 affair in Bauchi last Friday. They were walked over and the relegation haunted team was happy to leave the bottom of the league table without kicking a ball. They were also awarded three goals.
Rangers will have to shake off their latest setback with a good result against Akwa United in Uyo this midweek as a way of preparing for their make or break Caf Confederation Cup third round first leg encounter against visiting CS Sfaxien of Tunisia.
Bayelsa United have thus got their second road point after the initial one they had in Maiduguri (2-2) during Week four. They have 17 points from 11 games to be positioned sixth on the log while Rangers are fourth with 18 points.
NASARAWA UNITED 2-1 WIKKI TOURISTS
The Lafia side claimed the game ended and that they won 2-1 but Wikki Tourists stated the tie was inconclusive and that the centre referee Chrisantus Okoro from Imo State was beaten up while some of their officials and players were also not spared by the irate fans of the home team.
Before the crisis erupted, Victor Namo got Nasarawa's curtain raiser but Wikki levelled through Sani Ibrahim but Daniel Jackson settled the tie for the Lafia side in the dying minute of the tie before the fans had their day.
Nasarawa's victory catapulted them to the fifth position from their previous 11th with 18 points from 11 games while Wikki still occupied 19th position with 11 points. Nasarawa will take a long road trip to keep a date with Bayelsa United while Wikki will lock horns with Enyimba. Both ties are fixed for midweek.
NEMBE CITY 1-0 LOBI STARS
The Yenagoa side made home advantage count as they defeated Lobi Stars by the odd goal at the Samson Siasia Stadium with Samuel Akinbinu's 61st minute effort.
Lobi were reportedly the better side but they had several near misses through Uge Joshua and Tony Okpotu who lost gilt edged chances presented them. Akinbinu's goal was a well drilled shot beyond the reach of the stranded Lobi's goalie Terkaa Melai.
The latest defeat meant the club had only got five points from their last five games. They have 14 points from 11 affairs while Nembe are fifth with 17 points. Lobi play Warri Wolves this midweek while Nembe travel to Kano as guest of Pillars.
WARRI WOLVES 2-1 DOLPHINS
The Seasiders dropped three players and placed four others on serious warning less than 24 hours before the encounter with the Port Harcourt dwellers and the remaining players got the body language of the club management and handed the team a morale boosting result against Dolphins at the Warri City Stadium.
League sensation, Oghenekaro Etebo and Lazarus Chukwu netted for Warri Wolves in the 27th and 89th minutes while Chigozie Ihulla got the visitors lone goal in the 72nd minute.
The win was a timely response to the team 0-3 thrashing in Gombe last week which made them to surrender their eighth matches unbeaten run.
Warri Wolves are in 11th position from 11 games having amassed 15 points while Dolphins are four points further adrift in 14th position.
Dolphins will seek to return to winning ways at home against Kaduna United this midweek while Warri Wolves have tough task away to Lobi in Katsina Ala.
KADUNA UNITED 1-0 GOMBE UNITED
Kaduna United secured maximum points to ease their relegation worries at home Gombe United. The Desert Scorpions were hoping to get their first road point but they were undone by a second half goal from Kaduna United.
Gombe United coached by Belgian Maurice Cooreman have been awesome at home as they have 100 percent winning record at the Pantami Stadium. They have 15 points from 11 games to be placed 12th while Kaduna United are 15th on the log with just a point behind.
Gombe United will stay united as they seek the scalp of Kwara United while Kaduna United will have a mountain to climb as they visit Port Harcourt as guest of Dolphins.
KWARA UNITED 2-0 EL KANEMI WARRIORS
The Afonja Warriors had the last laugh in the encounter involving two warriors last Sunday at the Kwara State Stadium in Ilorin.Goals from Dare Ojo in the 36th minute and Yahaya Adamu 16 minutes from the final whistle delivered another victory to coach Samson Unuanel as they secure their second consecutive home win on the trot. Kwara United are now third on the log with 18 points from 11 games while El Kanemi Warriors' loss still enmeshed them in the relegation dogfight with 12 points from as many games. Kwara United face Gombe United at the Pantami Stadium while El Kanemi welcome Sunshine Stars to Maiduguri.