Week 22 matches witnessed Gombe United beating Bayelsa United in Benin while there were away points for Enyimba and Nasarawa United as holders Pillars were beaten 3-0 in Akure
Everything seems to be working well for the Desert Scorpions since the appointment of former Super Eagles’ coach, Austin Eguavoen some weeks ago as the club scooped their first away win of the season at Benin City against Bayelsa United.
During the reign of Belgian Maurice Cooreman, Gombe United found it hard to record any meaningful result away from home and in fact relied on their heroics at home to stay in the elite division last season. This season the club grabbed their first away point in Enugu against Rangers but they followed that with a disappointing home loss to Kano Pillars while some couple of other clubs also shared points with the Desert Scorpions.
Philip Asuquo, formerly of 3SC of Ibadan and Sunshine Stars, opened a new chapter in the annals of Gombe United when he netted the only goal in their hard fought win over the Restoration Boys at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin. The goal came in the seventh minute.
Gombe United moved to 26 points from 22 matches and are now 17th on the log while Bayelsa United’s 27 points has made a candidate for the drop if they fail to buckle up in the remaining matches.
SUNSHINE STARS 3-0 KANO PILLARS
The Akure Gunners put Kano Pillars' title credentials in tatters after they slaughtered Sai Masu Gida by three goals to nothing at the Akure Township Stadium on Sunday. Sunshine held the reigning champions to a 2-2 draw when the first leg was played in Kano in the second week of the season and the Akure side pummeled Pillars to make it a nice memory for the Akure fans.
Newman Musa’s double and a third from Prince Aggrey were enough to hand Pillars their biggest loss of the season thus far while the victory has also resurrected Sunshine’s hope of ending their continental no show for about two seasons now.
Sunshine now have 33 points from 22 matches while Pillars despite the loss still remain in top spot with 37 points from same number of matches. They are a point on top of the league.
ENUGU RANGERS 1-1 ENYIMBA
The Flying Antelopes have to fashion out a winning formula both home and away if they do not want to suffer the shame of dropping to the lower league for the first time in many seasons.
Rangers lost narrowly to the People’s Elephant in Aba and they were looking for their own pound of flesh at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium which never was.
Both clubs have won the league title a record six times apiece and are on the look out to adding another to their collection.
Rangers are in danger after series of lost home points and their free fall at away matches. They must go in search of valuable points at away to Kano Pillars. They have 27 points from 22 fixtures but the away point secured by Enyimba has taken them to 33 points from 22 games and may be in the title circus again if they beat Warri Wolves at mid week.
WARRI WOLVES 1-0 NEMBE CITY
Despite paying all their owed enhanced salaries till date before their Week 22 tie against Nembe City, the Seasiders still struggled and had to rely on the penalty heroics of the team’s leading scorer, Gbolahan Salami in a game played at the Warri Township Stadium.
Wolves now have 34 points from 22 games while Nembe City are fast confirming their lower league return next season with only 19 points from as many matches.
ABIA WARRIORS 2-0 EL KANEMI WARRIORS
The Umuahia side kept the pressure on Kano Pillars after they handed a 2-0 defeat to visitors, El Kanemi Warriors. The premier league newcomers are not showing the instinct of a novice at all and they are now second on the log with 36 points from 22 matches.
El Kanemi Warriors’ fighting spirit which made them stand out last season is fast going and they could even drop out of the premier league after two seasons if they allow their slide to continue.
The Maiduguri side are on 29 points from 22 games.
LOBI STARS 1-0 SHARKS
The Makurdi Bombers made it their third straight victory on the bounce as they are yet to drop any point since the second stanza began two weeks ago. They have won two home matches and secured one away from Katsina Ala. Uche Ilo’s goal was enough to guarantee maximum points against the Blue Angels.
Lobi have become overnight title contenders with the away win and are poised to extend their unbeaten streak when they play away to Gombe United next Wednesday. Both teams played 2-2 draw in a tie marred by crowd violence.
The Makurdi side have 34 points from 22 matches while Sharks are still on 33 points from as many matches.
AKWA UNITED 0-0 NASARAWA UNITED
The Promise Keepers tried all what they could but they couldn’t penetrate the difficult wall of defence of the Solid Miners as the game ended the only goalless draw of the Week 22 matches.
It was a good result for Mohammed Baba Ganaru who has now amassed 35 points from 22 games and with a forthcoming home tie against Bayelsa United.
Akwa United on their part will feel cheated after losing two points and another chance to close in on the league leaders. They have 32 points from 22 games.
GIWA FC 1-1 DOLPHINS
The Pride of Port Harcourt ensured that honours were even in Jos against the league’s surprise package who had initially held them to a 1-1 draw at the Liberation Stadium in the Week two of the premier league.
It was point gained to Dolphins who now have 34 points from 22 matches and will look for a way to extend their points when they host Crown FC in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
Giwa have 32 points from as many matches.
FC TARABA 2-0 KADUNA UNITED
The Jalingo Boys galloped to a 2-0 win at the expense of troubled Crocodile Boys on Sunday at the Jolly Nyame Stadium, Jalingo.
The crucial win improved FC Taraba’s points’ tally to 31 points from 22 games and it has eased the burden of head coach, Ndubuisi Nduka who has been tasked with the enviable height of ensuring that the club does not suffer relegation.
Kaduna United defeat has thus added to their misery and they may be in the same plight as Nembe City expect something drastic is taken. They are currently on 24 points from as many games.
HEARTLAND 1-0 CROWN
For the Naze Millionaires it was a lucky victory and one that came with much hard work and sacrifice. Crown came to Owerri with better squad than the one they had against Lobi Stars last Wednesday and they gave the home side many things to ponder about during the game.
The Ajilete Boys deserve at least a point but they couldn’t convert the numerous chances that came their way into goals.
The win was a fitting way to bid former Green Eagles’ star and ex-player of the side bye as both teams observed the one minute silence and also wore black armband.
Heartland are now on 30 points and are a bit comfortable while Crown are wallowing in relegation zone with 24 points from 22 games.