All home teams, except one, won their matches in the Week 10 of the NPFL games midweek with the only draw drawing the ire of home fans who beat up the match officials
DOLPHINS 2-0 NEMBE CITY
The Port Harcourt dwellers were back to winning ways again after a 2-0 win at the Liberation Stadium, Elekahia against league debutants, Nembe City.
It was the club’s fourth home win of the season. Fred Okwara netted the first goal in the 15th minute while Isiaka Olawale who will soon be on his way to team up with the Beach Eagles this weekend at their Badagry, Lagos camp got the second goal in the 57th minute.
Dolphins have moved to 14 points from 10 fixtures but they must buckle up if they want to be counted as worthy league contenders. But for Nembe City, their lesson continues in their premiere season in the elite division as they prepare to host Lobi Stars in Yenagoa this weekend. Nembe are on 14 points from same number of matches.
GOMBE UNITED 3-0 WARRI WOLVES
Bishop Onyeudo continued his impressive start to the season with another two goals although the first goal is still suspect until we are able to see the details of the match report submitted by the match officials and the match commissioner. The available information showed the opening goal claimed by the striker was recorded as an own goal and this was supported by the Desert Scorpions' head coach, Maurice Cooreman who told our correspondent that it was Warri Wolves' defender that unknowingly diverted the ball into his own net. Cyril Obodo got the third goal.
It was a crushing defeat by Wolves' standard having gone eight matches without defeat before the debacle in Gombe and it has put a dent in their momentary recovery.
Gombe United on their part continued their 100 percent home winning record and it has been their fortress this season but they have been awful away from Pantami Stadium.
Warri Wolves must shake off the defeat at Gombe if they want to pick maximum points from their difficult home tie with Dolphins on Sunday while Gombe United too will have an away date with Kaduna United as they search desperately for their first away point. Gombe United are on 15 points while Warri Wolves have three points less than the Desert Scorpions from 10 games.
SHOOTING STARS 1-0 SUNSHINE STARS
Gbolahan Salami was the hero and the villain of the South West derby played at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan when he netted in the 48th minute from the penalty spot and got sent off for a second booking in the dying moments of the Oluyole Warriors' 1-0 victory over the Akure Gunners.
3SC still remain a force to reckon with at home when it is needless repeating their abysmal feat away from Ibadan. They have picked maximum 15 points from five home matches and they have lost same during their road trips.
3SC have a tough away trip to wounded Sharks this weekend in Port Harcourt and getting their elusive first point outside Ibadan may still take time to come.
For Sunshine Stars, they lost an opportunity to race to the top of the table with the lone goal defeat and as they welcome demoralised ABS to Akure this weekend they must fashion out a winning formula to retain their place among the top three. They currently have 17 points to drop a place to third from 10 games while 3SC are two points below in as many matches.
EL KANEMI WARRIORS 4-1 ABS
The relegation-haunted Maiduguri club have recorded their best win thus far with the 4-1 thumping of the already spent Ilorin side at the El Kanemi Stadium on Thursday evening
El Kanemi thus secured their third home win of the season and also moved out of the relegation zone till weekend games are decided at least.
They are now on 12 points and are away to Kwara United this weekend. ABS got a solitary goal through new signing Otegbeye Ajibola who marked his debut with a consolation goal after he was introduced in the second half. He has surely guaranteed himself a spot in the team to Akure when they visit equally desperate Sunshine Stars. ABS have 12 points from 10 matches.
KWARA UNITED 2-0 KADUNA UNITED
The Afonja Warriors further underlined their resolve to get something better this season than they have got the previous ones with another important 2-0 home win over stubborn Kaduna United in Ilorin.
Segun Alebiosu and Samuel Adegbenro's efforts were enough to guarantee coach Samson Unuanel tutored lads three vital points as they raced to 15 points from 10 games. They could among the top teams by weekend if they hold their nerves to record another home victory against El Kanemi Warriors who have not been too daring outside Maiduguri.
Kaduna United away loss did not do them any good at all as they stepped into the bottom three with 11 points from 10 ties. The face Gombe United this weekend in a must win tie.
AKWA UNITED 3-0 SHARKS
The Uyo team showed they had recovered from their four-match winless streak in their game against the Blue Angels whom they thrashed 3-0. Akwa United had lost 1-2 and 1-4 respectively against El Kanemi and 3SC and they also failed to beat ABS at home (2-2). The last straw was their 0-3 annihilation by Sunshine Stars in the Week 9 encounter.
Nonso Edo with a brace and Ubong Ekpai with the third goal improved Akwa United’s points haul to 13 from 10 games as they surged out of the bottom four in style. They must however not keep their guard lowered as they visit Heartland of Owerri at the Dan Anyiam Stadium on Sunday.
For coach Gbenga Ogunbote and his Sharks team they must return to Port Harcourt awaiting 3SC for a fresh start from their calamitous loss in Uyo. The Blue Angels have nine points from 10 games and are still second from bottom.
KANO PILLARS 2-0 NASARAWA UNITED
The Kano side displayed that their 3-0 whitewash of Samba FC in the final of the State FA Cup was no fluke with another 2-0 triumph over the Lafia team.
Buhari Musa in the 7th minute and Rabiu Ali who was voted the man of the match got the second goal in the 67th minute.
It was a victory Kano Pillars needed to return to the summit of the premier league after relinquishing it briefly for two weeks. They are now top with a game in hand with 19 points and are two points ahead of closest challengers Rangers and Sunshine Stars.
Pillars will desperately hope to hold on to the leadership of the league beyond Week 11but it will be very tough as they visit Enyimba International in Aba on Sunday. Though they played a 2-2 draw last season but their chances of getting any point have been limited after their 4-0 collapse to Rangers in Enugu two weeks ago.
Nasarawa United with Alphonsus Dike as head coach have upset form book with their display and they ranked second best among newly promoted clubs in the elite division this season. Though they lost in Kano they must go back to Lafia to group for their winnable home game against Wikki Tourists. They have 15 points from 10 games and are only four points away from the top.
BAYELSA UNITED 1-0 HEARTLAND
Ebimobowei Peter's goal added to the misery of the Naze Millionaires in their away loss at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa. Heartland visited Bayelsa still smarting from their 2-0 win in the final of the Imo State FA Cup against Bussdor and despite their threats to get at least a point from the tie, they capitulated and allowed Bayelsa United to steal all points.
Heartland have only got a point away from Owerri - the 1-1 draw against Warri Wolves but they have lost all other fixtures on the road against Kwara United, Dolphins and now Bayelsa United. They have 13 points from nine games while Bayelsa United are on 16 points from 10 games to move to fourth on the table behind the usual suspects Kano Pillars, Rangers and Sunshine Stars.
LOBI STARS 0-0 ENYIMBA
Dominic Iorfa’ lads have lost their home invincibility for the first time this season just like they did last season when they only lost two points from the possible 57.
This term it was the Aba Millionaires who have been placed on half salaries by the club management for improved output that got it from a very rowdy game on Wednesday.
Both clubs lost their respective State FA Cup titles to Nigeria National League sides Apa United and Abia Warriors and they needed positive response to get their fans again on their side.
Enyimba showed more determination and resilience and they were rewarded with a point. While Enyimba players and officials escaped the wrath of the irate fans, the match officials especially the centre referee A.A Ibrahim from Kaduna State was not so lucky as he was beaten black and blue by the fans. His two assistants Tope Arowolo from Osun and Kabiru Adams of Kaduna were equally not spared by supporters loyal to Lobi Stars. LMC is yet to react on the magnitude of the club's punishment.
The draw didn't do both clubs much good. Lobi Stars improved to 14 points from 10 games while Enyimba who have 13 points now must dig deep to get all points against Kano Pillars in Aba on Sunday in the easiest choice for the star match of the week.
WIKKI TOURISTS vs ENUGU RANGERS (POSTPONED)
The game is not expected to hold after Rangers wrote a letter to the League Management Company (LMC) through the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) seeking a postponement of the tie owing to their accumulated fixtures and most importantly their Caf Confederation Cup third round first leg match against CS Sfaxien of Tunisia on May 19 in Enugu.
As at the time of filing this report a source in the Flying Antelopes' camp disclosed that no official word has been heard from the Football House but that Rangers already made up their mind not to embark on that long trip with barely a week to the crucial tie against the Tunisian giants.
Despite not kicking a ball, Rangers are second on the log by 17 points same as Sunshine Stars but they are ahead by their better goals difference. Rangers will host Bayelsa United this weekend where they could return to the summit of the league if they win well and both Pillars and Sunshine fail to secure maximum points at Aba against Enyimba and at Akure against ABS this weekend.
Wikki Tourists on their part will make a short dash to Lafia as guest of Nasarawa United. They will strive to get all points so as to improve their lot on the league log with a misery eight points from 9 games.