NPFL Round Up
By Kolade Oni
BAYELSA UNITED 1-0 SHARKS
The Restoration Boys returned to the summit of the Nigeria Professional Football League(NPFL) after they pipped the Blue Angels 1-0 at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa.
Bayelsa United had relinquished the position they occupied for the first time this season on Thursday to Pillars on Saturday.
But the Isa Ladan Bosso coached side pipped Sharks to the maximum points as they climb above Pillars again with 49 points from 29 matches. They have a point above Pillars.
Sharks loss meant they remain on 39 points from as many matches. They are in 12th position with 39 points. Both sides will play Akwa United and Heartland of Owerri respectively at the Sharks Stadium and Dan Anyiam Stadium in the matchday 30 clashes.
3SC 1-1 ABS
The Oluyole Warriors' push for an escape route out of the relegation zone suffered a setback in Ibadan on Sunday after they allowed ABS to claw to their way back into the match with Muktar Saliu's goal in the 75th minute.
Both sides are still in the relegation zone but the Ilorin side will fancy their chances of leaving the drop zone with two consecutive home games against El Kanemi Warriors and Sunshine Stars next.
ABS will be bouyed to extra mile after the slashed half salary and the three match ultimatum was lifted by the Management of the Ilorin based club.
The players also received double match bonus for the away draw in Ibadan.
ABS are in 18th position with 37 points while 3SC are 17th with same 37 points but have superior goals difference than ABS. Both have played 29 matches. 3SC's next away tie is at Akure against Sunshine Stars.
AKWA UNITED 4-0 SUNSHINE STARS
The Akure Gunners collapsed to their heaviest defeat of the season at Uyo against Akwa United on Sunday.
Mfon Udoh underlined his potency in front of goal with two goals while Emmanuel Ariwa was also on the score sheet.
The win takes Akwa United points' haul to 40 and they are 11th with 28 games played while Sunshine are in 13th spot with 38 points from as many games. Akwa United visit Sharks while Sunshine welcome 3SC to Akure.
WIKKI TOURISTS 0-1 HEARTLAND
The reward of over one million naira given to the Naze Millionaires for their home win over Kano Pillars last Wednesday has yielded dividends with the Owerri side going to Bauchi to pick a win against relegation haunted Wikki Tourists
Uchenna Orisakwe's goal in the first half was all the hitherto troubled side needed to wrap up the three points. They have 40 points from 29 matches and are ninth on the log while the loss further dampened Wikki's bid to escape relegation. The Bauchi side have 36 points from 29 encounters to stay in 19th position. Wikki take a trip to Enugu as guest of Rangers while Heartland will battle Bayelsa United in a grudge war at Owerri weekend.
LOBI STARS 1-0 NASARAWA UNITED
The Makurdi Bombers squeezed through the Lafia side 1-0 through Lekan Agunloye's solitary strike in the second half.
Lobi needed an outright win to leave bottom of the table and they deservedly got it in the second half after the first had ended with both goalkeepers reduced to spectators.
The Makurdi side have 38 points and are placed 15th while Nasarawa United are rock bottom with 36 points from as many games. Lobi take a trip to Enyimba at Aba on Sunday while Nasarawa United must be at their best against Kano Pillars in Lafia.
GOMBE UNITED 1-0 NEMBE CITY
The Savannah Scorpions scrapped to a 1-0 home win at the Pantami Stadium, Gombe over Nembe City.
Habibu Yinusa's 57th minute effort returned Maurice Cooreman lads to winning ways after a subdued performance at Aba against Enyimba last Wednesday.
The Peoples Elephant thrashed Gombe 3-0 and could still have scored more if not for poor marksmanship in the matchday 28 tie midweek but Gombe United shook that off to hand a defeat to the premier league new boys.
Gombe United who are yet to secure any point on the road have 43 points to placed sixth from 29 games while Nembe City are 16th on the log with 38 points from 29 matches too. Gombe United next port of call is at Warri Wolves where Cooreman will be face to face with his former employers while Nembe City welcome Dolphins to Yenagoa's Samson Siasia Stadium on Sunday.
KANO PILLARS 2-1 ENUGU RANGERS
Kano Pillars have reclaimed top spot of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at least for the next 24 hours after a 2-1 home win over Enugu Rangers at the Sani Abacha Stadium.
Pillars lost the first position temporarily to Enyimba and Bayelsa United on Wednesday and Thursday respectively but the win over the Flying Antelopes has restored their lead at the top even with a game at hand at home to Akwa United to be played on Wednesday next week.
Rabiu Ali was the hero for the league's reigning champions when he scored a brace in the 14th and 20th minutes of the first half. The coal city had secured a brief reprieve in the 15th minute when Chinedu Udeagha levelled for them a minute after Pillars' opening goal.
Pillars current position will however be tested on Sunday in Yenagoa when Bayelsa United hosts Sharks of Port Harcourt. A win for the Restoration Boys will take them to the top by a point more than Pillars. They gained the advantage after they secured a draw at Akure against Sunshine Stars on Thursday morning.
EL KANEMI WARRIORS 1-0 KADUNA UNITED
The Maiduguri based side have jumped to the second spot on the log after the club beat Kaduna United 1-0 in a league tie on Saturday.
The three points helped El Kanemi to 47 points from 29 matches.
The club only got a return to the elite division at the beginning of the season and only got a modest ambition of staying in the elite division as a target. They have however eclipsed that with their current position.
DOLPHINS 0-0 ENYIMBA
The Peoples Elephant got a road point in Port Harcourt after a goalless draw against Dolphins at the Liberation Stadium.
Both sides needed maximum points to aid their push for continental assault but the Port Harcourt dwellers couldn't possess the cutting edge that will guarantee all points as the Aba Millionaires defended stoutly to get the point.
The draw ensured that Enyimba remain in the top five with 46 points from 29 matches while Dolphins' loss points at home is a big blow to their recent resurgent before the heavy defeats at Akure and Lafia and also the surprise loss to Sharks.
They still remain on 40 points from 29 ties.
KWARA UNITED 0-0 WARRI WOLVES (INCONCLUSIVE)
The Afonja Warriors' quest to nick a spot on the continent suffered a rude setback at Ilorin on Saturday when their tie against Warri Wolves could not be completed because of fans maltreatment of one of the match officials.
Goal learnt that the Assistant Referee 2 Durunna CIB from Abia State was beaten by the fans of the home fans during the halftime break allegedly for past sins and was rushed to the hospital for prompt attention.