The Peoples Elephant got maximum points in Owerri to end their win-less away streak in recent seasons as El Kanemi Warriors, Wikki Tourists and Rangers got important wins
HEARTLAND 0-1 ENYIMBA
The Naze Millionaires lost their second home game of the season after they allowed their next door neighbours, Enyimba to scoop all points in a 1-0 away win at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri.
The game involving both teams had ended same 1-0 when the initial leg was played mid-June at Aba and the Naze Millionaires had promised then that honours would be evened when the second leg came up.
The feisty contest however ended with the Aba Millionaires having the last laugh courtesy of Saviour Fidelis' 39th minute strike and all efforts by the Owerri club to equalise proved abortive till the final blast of the referee's whistle.
Heartland also had about three penalty appeals turned down by the centre referee to the dissatisfaction of the home fans. The atmosphere was so charged towards the end of the encounter that the police on duty had to disperse the unhappy fans with tear-gas canister. The security also saw off the centre referee and other match officials out of the stadium for fear of being beating by the angry fans.
The win increased Enyimba's points haul to 31 from 20 matches. They also moved to 4th behind Kano Pillars (36), Warri Wolves (34) and Kwara United (33).
In a brief chat with Goal after the tie, Enyimba goalkeeper Femi Thomas dedicated their first road win of the season to God and commended the centre referee for upholding the tenets of the game despite pressure from the home fans.
"We are happy with the win and we dedicate it to God. I will also have to praise the boldness of the centre referee for his fair officiating despite constant cry from the home fans to influence the outcome of the tie in their favour," Thomas said.
WIKKI TOURISTS 4-0 LOBI STARS
At the Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, Lobi Stars fell like a pack of badly arranged cards to Wikki Tourists whom they lost to 4-0 in a highly one sided tie.
The game ended 1-0 in favour of Lobi when the first leg was played about three weeks ago through Joseph Ujah but the Makurdi based side were no match at all to the Wikki in the second leg cracker played in Bauchi
The home side started on a fast tempo but were denied scoring chances in the 10th and 20th minutes by agile Terkaa Melai who was at the goalposts for the Makurdi side. 'Man Mountain' Stephen Eze was also very effective at the early part of the match.
But Wikki amended when they got the curtain raiser through old war horse, Ibrahim Babale on the dot of the 45th minute. His cheeky shot slipped through the groping hands of Melai.
On fire Wikki double the lead in the 53rd minute when Lobi's Emmanuel Ajia's gamble failed and thus gave the home team a deserved penalty which was smartly converted by Ibrahim Shuaibu. Shuaibu netted his second goal of the match in the 85th minute before Alaba Johnson ended the game as a contest with the fourth goal in the 87th minute.
A visibly angry Wikki Team Manager, Yakubu Minda was shocked to see the way Lobi played against his side and he didn't mince words in his assessment of the Dominic Iorfa led team:" Lobi have changed with time. This is not the Lobi we used to know. They must find a solution to their present predicament to be a force to reckon with again. They are lacking players with premier league experience."
Wikki improved to 26 points on the log from 20 matches while Lobi are still on 26 points too from same number of games.
SUNSHINE STARS 1-1 WARRI WOLVES
Warri Wolves also drew 1-1 against Sunshine Stars at the Akure Township Stadium.
The game was already turbocharged a day before the tie with the Seasiders alleging that they were denied an opportunity to train ahead of the tie at the Akure Township Stadium- the venue of the Wednesday evening clash.
Oke Ogagakowho however opened the scoring for the Akure Arsenal in the 60th minute before Ike ThankGod got the equaliser five minutes from time. Warri Wolves jumped to 34 points from 20 games to retain second spot while Sunshine Stars are on 28 points from same number of matches.
Sunshine didn't play like the home team and they could have lost all points to their opponents if Warri Wolves had taken their chances when they had opportunities.
Warri Wolves are now on 34 points from 20 league games and are still second behind Kano Pillars who are two points better than the Seasiders. Sunshine on their part have garnered 28 points from 19 ties.
ENUGU RANGERS 2-0 NASARAWA UNITED
At the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, Enugu Rangers put their continental problems aside to beat Nasarawa United 2-0.
Goals from Oduokpe Oghogho and Chinedu Udeagha in the 14th and 20th minutes of the first half settled the tie for the Flying Antelopes.
They now have 30 points from 20 games to move to fifth on the log.
The mood within the Flying Antelopes camp has been that of uncertainty as regard what the future foretells for the club and their continental pursuit but everything changed within the first 20 minutes of the occasion against the Lafia Boys when they went two goals up.
The win has lifted the spirits of the players and the coaches of the Coal City side whom have expressed their optimism that Rangers would be reinstated back to take their rightful place in the Caf Confederation Cup group stage.
AKWA UNITED 3-2 GOMBE UNITED
Akwa United whipped Gombe United 3-2 in their first match after they were told to return to the Uyo Township Stadium by the Nigeria Football Federation's Organising and Disciplinary Committee.
The League Management Company (LMC) had before the latest game banished Akwa United to Oba near Onitsha but the NFF's O&D overrule the verdict and ask them to return home.
Akwa United goals were scored by Ubong Udoh(2) and Ubong Ekpai before Oliver Agbo and Haruna Adamu reduced the goals for Gom be United.
ABS 1-0 KADUNA UNITED
ABS also nicked a 1-0 win over Kaduna United in the battle of the basement clubs.
ABS scored their solitary goal through Abdulkadir Aminu.
They now have 25 points from 20 games while Kaduna United are still on 26 points. From as many games.
3SC 1-1 KWARA UNITED
The Oluyole Warriors failed to beat the Afonja Warriors in the replay of the game involving two warriors played at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba , Ibadan.
Kwara United beat 3SC 2-0 during the first stanza but the Ibadan side threatened to beat their opponents during their second meeting but it was the Ilorin side that showed much hunger between the two.
Kwara United shot into a shock lead in the added on time of the first half through Dare Ojo but 3SC levelled the tie in the second half through Seun Akinyemi.
It was another setback to the Oluyole Warriors aspirations and their quest to grab a continental outing at the end of the season. But for Samson Unuanel led Kwara United, it was another impressive outing for them in their pursuit of winning the league.
Kwara United have 33 points from 20 games to place third while 3SC are on 26 points from same number of games.
SHARKS 1-0 NEMBE CITY
The Blue Angels' Tayo Fabiyi continued from where he stopped for his relegation haunted side with another crucial goal to hand his team the precious three point at the Sharks International Stadium, Port Harcourt.
Fabiyi's strike in the 39th minute proved to be the difference in a game Sharks dominated but found Nembe's goaltender, Opubo Jephat as the only hindrance to the away side's conceding of more goals.
He was unarguably the man of the match as he thwarted most of Sharks attempt at scoring goals from their numerous chances created.
Sharks have 23 points from 20 games but are still last after their other relegation battlers recording home wins too. Nembe are on 26 points from same encounters.
BAYELSA UNITED 2-2 DOLPHINS
The Yenagoa side were forced to a 2-2 draw at the Samson Siasia Stadium by the rejuvenated Dolphins of Port Harcourt.
Samuel Agba and Ebimobowei nstted twice to put the home team in the ascendancy but Dolphins' Emeka Atuloma and Ifeanyi Egwin made sure that the game ended in a draw with their goals to the delight of coach Stanley Eguma.
Bayelsa United are on 30 points while Dolphins are on 29 points from same number of matches.
EL KANEMI WARRIORS 2-0 KANO PILLARS
The Maiduguri side gave the reigning champions a reality check with a 2-0 victory at the El-Kanemi Stadium.
The win increased El Kanemi’s points to 28 while Pillars still hold on to top spot with 36 points from 20 games each.