The Flying Antelopes' vital road win in Yenagoa is drawing the club closer to NPL diadem as Week 34 matches took centre stage across NigeriaNigeria Premier League leaders, Enugu Rangers stepped up their intention of winning the 2011/12 season and ending close to three decades of a trophy drought when they secured a 1-0 away victory over Ocean Boys in a Week 34 tie played Wednesday.
Rangers' striker, Ifeanyi Ede got the all important goal in the 25th minute of the match to increase Rangers points to 58 from 34 matches and thus added to woes of the hosts' who sit uncomfortably at the bottom of the log.
The win stretched Rangers lead to three points after Kano Pillars were held to a goalless draw in Port Harcourt by Sharks. Pillars are on 55 points.
At Owerri, Heartland gained maximum points at home to Dolphins. The Naze Millionaires have endured a torrid week which included a two-day strike action over yet to be paid balances of this season's sign on fees to record a 1-0 win over Dolphins.
Heartland players almost boycotted the encounter before they were prevailed upon to do so with a firm promise that they will be paid. Super Eagles' player, Obinna Nwachukwu came on in the second half and notched the important winner in the 86th minute.
Heartland's captain, Chinedu Efugh told Goal.com shortly after the match that he knew the match would be difficult judging by what had transpired before it.
He noted that though they were on strike for couple of days, the words of assurance from the club's management spurred them on record a win.
"We were persuaded to play the match and we gave it all what we got after getting assurance from the management of Heartland that things will improve before the end of the week.
"Though we didn't train together as a team because of the strike we were able to pass a message that we could get whatever we want through determination and it was the reason we poured everything to it and we got all the points," Efugh told Goal.com.
Heartland are now on 49 points while Dolphins remain on 51 points from 34 matches. The Naze Millionaires are 8th on the log while the league reigning champions slid a place down to 5th after Lobi Stars beat Enyimba 2-0 in Katsina Ala to move to 4th with the same number of points with Dolphins.
Niger Tornadoes' NPL leading scorer, Sibi Gwar got a hat trick in his club's 3-1 win over Kwara United in Minna. Gwar got a brace against the Afonja Warriors in the first stanza which ended 2-2.
He told Goal.com: "I am elated to have increased my goals tally and that my team won convincingly against one of my former teams.
"I got a goal against Kwara last season and this season alone, I scored five against them. There is nothing special in scoring goals and getting some against Kwara United is not different from the others I have netted against.
"I played for Kwara United before and the urge to show the stuff I am made up against my former team aided the way I played against them today (Wednesday).
"I am setting my sights on breaking the current record of 20 goals and with 17 already, nothing is impossible to me," Gwar added.
Jigawa Golden Stars beat 3SC of Ibadan 2-0; Akwa United pipped Wikki Tourists 1-0 in Calabar while Sunshine Stars got a 2-1 victory over Rising Stars in Ijebu-ode.
Week 34 matches continue on Thursday, with matches taking place in Ilorin and Warri respectively with ABS hosting Gombe United and Warri Wolves squaring up with Kaduna United.