NPFL Week 14 Round Up: Kwara United get away win in Katsina Ala as Pillars reclaim top spot

The Afonja Warriors did the unthinkable away against Lobi Stars but Kano based reigning league champions, Sunshine and Dolphins were reportedly aided to home wins by officials


The Afonja Warriors shared the honours of winning two away games with league leaders, Kano Pillars after the Samson Unuanel -tutored lads defeated Lobi Stars 1-0 at the dreaded Chief Akume Atongo Stadium, Katsina Ala.

Adamu Yahaya beat the offside trap set for him by the Makurdi Gunners' player and was one on one with Lobi's goalie, Terkaa Melai before slotting the ball beyond the already displaced goaltender in the 42nd minute for the opener.

The curtain raiser spurred Lobi players on to go all out in search of the equaliser which seemed not coming until the centre referee spotted an infringement in the 75th minute for a spot kick to the home side. Tony Okpotu was given the task of ending his goals drought and also even the scores for his team but the former U20 and Super Eagles' invitee fluffed the chance. He played the ball into the waiting hands of goalkeeper Suraju Ayeleso.

For the umpteenth time Lobi's attack was in suspect throughout the encounter wasting numerous opportunities presented them. They must be ready for another war this weekend against Gombe United at the Desert Scorpions' haven: Pantami Stadium.

Meanwhile,the victory ensured that the Afonja Warriors heaved a sigh of relief after losing another two points at home to Dolphins last weekend in a 1-1. Kwara United will host the most preferred game of the week besides Rangers' versus Sunshine's tango in Enugu this weekend.

Kwara United leapt to fourth position on the log with 22 points from 14 games while Lobi dropped to the relegation zone for the first time this season with 17 points scooped from 14 ties. They are 17th.



The Akure Gunners allegedly stole their way to the three points as claimed by Heartland's General Manager, Fan Ndubuoke but Sunshine's manager, Samuel Abimbola immediately came out to dispel the assertion.

The Naze Millionaires raced into the lead through inspirational midfielder, Ikechukwu Ibenegbu but two second half penalties converted Sunshine's skipper and goalkeeper, Moses Ocheje handed the day to the home team at the Akure Township Stadium.

There was reported case of assault on the players of the visiting team but since Sunshine came out to deny the report Goal is yet to get the full dose of which is which in the game involving two of the legendary clubs in the country.

The win eased chief coach Abimbola's worries as they set for their defining moment of the first half of the season with a tricky tie away to Enugu Rangers this weekend while Heartland could get back top spot with a routine home win over stubborn Sharks of Port Harcourt whom they are yet to beat in Owerri since 2011.

Despite the loss, Heartland remained in the top three with 22 points and with a match at hand while Sunshine are in fifth position with 21 points from 14 games.


The privately owned club got a crucial three point at home to the Flying Antelopes with a 2-1 win. Rangers drew first blood through Samuel Chukwudi but the Ilorin based club relentless effort paid off through strikes from Ajibola Otegbeye and Ibrahim Abdullahi to the delight of club's coach, Kabiru Sulaiman Dogo.

Rangers are fast becoming the flop of the season despite starting the season well. They however have an opportunity to regain lost pride with a home win over Sunshine Stars on Sunday but ABS even have a tougher assignment at Lafia against Nasarawa United.

ABS are 19th on the log with 16 points from as many matches while Rangers slid to 13th with 18 points from 13 games.


The Oluyole Warriors returned to winning ways with a 2-0 home win over the Lafia side.

They took the lead in the seventh minute through Mohammed Adewale when he nodded home a Sylvanus Ebiaku's cross for his first goal for 3SC while out of sort Ighodalor Osagona who was wasteful on a number of occasions redeemed himself with a nice bicycle kick goal in the 61st minute off another inviting cross from Ebiaku.

The win took the Ibadan club to 19 points from 13 games and they are placed 11th while Nasarawa are just a spot below with the same number of points from 14 matches.

3SC are on the road to Aba to face virtually home game specialist Enyimba on Sunday but Nasarawa are at home to troubled ABS.


Namso Edo's solitary goal for the Uyo based club showed that the Peoples Elephant must find a solution to their poor away form this season after getting only two points out of possible 21 away points.

The Aba Millionaires have improved tremendously on their home form with impressive wins in their last three games at the Enyimba International Stadium against Dolphins, Kano Pillars and Bayelsa United but they get sufficient points on the road too to count them as true contenders of the league this season.

The lost in Uyo meant the Peoples' Elephant went down to 10th from their previous sixth position with 19 points from 14 ties but Akwa United leapt to their season best eighth position with 20 points from 14 matches.

Enyimba will rekindle old time memories with a home game against 3SC while Akwa United will visit Nembe City in search of points this weekend.


The much touted derby game involving two Yenagoa based club ended with Bayelsa United winning two nil in a game played at the Samson Siasia Stadium.

A brace from Peter Ebimobowei in the 20th and 44th minutes gave Bayelsa United a lift on the league table courtesy of the three point added.

The former league champions have 23 points from 14 matches to jump to season's best second position but Nembe City's 20 points from same number of matches saw them go down to ninth.

Bayelsa United will have a tough call holding on to their position with a tricky tie away to Warri Wolves while Nembe are at home to Akwa United this weekend.


The steam is fast drying up on Warri Wolves after going eight games unbeaten after their opening day fixture loss to Sharks in Port Harcourt. The Delta side have lost all their last three away matches to Gombe United (0-3), Lobi Stars(0-1) and now Wikki Tourists(1-2).

Usman Sani got his side's first goal in the 22nd minute but Warri Wolves drew level through Musa Najere in a minute after restart of the second goal. The Bauchi side however had the last laugh with their second in the 77th minute through Ibrahim Babale.

Wikki latest points pushed them out of the relegation battlers at least till weekend when they face Kaduna United in a northern derby affair. They have 17 points from 14 matches and are placed 16th but Warri Wolves' haul of 18 points placed them 14th from 14 encounters. They are at home to Bayelsa United this weekend in a match day 15 tie.


The reigning league champions have lost some of their potency from their brilliant performance of last season where they were in total command of the league table but this term the team has been short of confidence and their defence leaking goals with reckless abandon.

Though they won at home to Kaduna United, the win left many league watchers wondering where Pillars' problems have come from. They relied on a stoppage time penalty kick to preserve their winning run at home.

The defending champions opened the scoring through enterprising playmaker Rabiu Ali in the first minute but Kaduna United's Tijani Adamu equalised 11 minutes later.

Michael Anthony stunned the Kano fans when he netted in the 51st minute as the away team surged into the lead at the Sani Abacha Stadium but Kabiru Umar came to the club's rescue four minutes later for his second goal in two games before the last gasp disputed penalty kick converted by Ali for his second goal of the night in the 90th minute.

Pillars returned to the top with 25 points from 13 games while Kaduna United are joint 18th with 17 points from as many games.

Judging by their poor away form in the last three games and Kwara United impressive win at Katsina Ala,Pillars are fancied to lose in Ilorin when they travel for their road tie this weekend while Kaduna United have a must win home tie against Wikki Tourists.


The Port Harcourt dwellers pipped the Desert Scorpions to the three points at stake through a 60th minute penalty kick converted by former Heartland's captain, Victor Ezuruike.

Though Gombe United manager, Maurice Cooreman blamed the match officials and their long road journey for the defeat the team must shake off this loss to preserve their unbeaten home record against Lobi Stars while Dolphins even have another opportunity to move to at least fourth position if they get a second win in four days in another home tie to El Kanemi Warriors. Both games hold this weekend.

Despite their financial constraints, Dolphins are doing better than their city neighbours, Sharks and they have moved to sixth position on the log with 21 points from 14 games but Gombe United with their unbeaten home record their fortress are in seventh from same number of games with 21 points.


Despite the volatile nature of Maiduguri, the League Management Company (LMC) has passed a vote of confidence on the El Kanemi Stadium and declared it fit to host the team's games after the league body claimed it has got sufficient assurances from Borno State that all is well.

The Blue Angels visited the place on Wednesday and still lost 0-2 just like others that were there since the trouble started in the acclaimed seat of the Boko Haram- the deadly Islamic sect.

El Kanemi are in joint 14th position with 18 points from 14 games same as Warri Wolves having got same goals difference but Sharks are still rock bottom with 14 points from same number of matches.

El Kanemi will travel to meet Sharks neighbours, Dolphins in Port Harcourt this weekend while Sharks are on another road trip to somewhat familiar terrain in Owerri to face Heartland. The team has got two wins and a draw from their last three visits to Heartland.