NPFL Week 24 Round Up: Six goal thriller decides Abia derby

The much hyped Abia derby was a delight to watch for the fans of both sides as they were not disappointed with the avalanche of goals on display in Umuahia


The Flying Antelopes finally put smiles on the faces of their supporters at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu after they pipped Giwa FC 1-0. Dada Bitrus solitary effort in the 25th minute was enough to hand crucial three points to the Coal City boys who were desirous of the maximum points to salvage their league position before the next round of matches.

Rangers now have 31 points from 24 games and will go to their next league game at Akure against Sunshine Stars with another positive result in mind while the loss by the Jos Elephants is another way to checkmate the newly promoted elite division side as they keep in pace with the reality of life among the big boys. Giwa FC are on 35 points from as many matches. The Jos Elephants defeated Rangers by the same scoreline when the first leg was played during Match Day four.


The Seasiders put up another mediocrity show at home to the league leaders but managed to have the upper hand at the Warri Township Stadium on Sunday in a Nigeria Professional Football League(NPFL) Week 24 tie.

Warri Wolves drew the first blood in the 30th minute after a powerful header off a corner kick but the Sai Masu Gida leveled the encounter two minutes into the second half through Abdul Haruna. Wolves however saved the best for the last after a terrific second goal from Joseph Osadaiye in the 88th minute. The game ended in favour of the struggling Wolves but most importantly the three points ensured that Wolves moved to 37 points from 24 games while Pillars though still on top have their lead cut to two points.



This is the undoubted star match of the week and it lived up to the pre match billings after the explosive encounter produced six goals at the Umuahia Township Stadium on Sunday evening.

The game finished 1-0 in favour of the Ochendo Boys at Aba in a Week four tie but Enyimba do not want the new premier league entrants to have a double victory over them in their debut campaign in the elite division.

Abia Warriors took the battle to their visitors and this made the People’s Elephant to commit an infringement in the 18 yard box after Enyimba’s midfielder, Rasheed Olabiyi was adjudged to have handled a ball in the seventh minute. Abia Warriors’ Chima Uluocha planted the ball beyond the reach of  Femi Thomas in goal for the away side. The goal turned the game around and it was not long that Enyimba was presented with the equalizer through another penalty converted by Mfon Udoh for his 10th goal of the season. It was scored in the 15th minute.

Two minutes later after Udoh’s goal, the stadium erupted for another goal celebration after Ifeanyi Onyeali put his side in the lead again but Ugwu Uwadiegwu left his duty post in the left full back to score through a well laid shot in the 34th minute to draw his team level for the second time again. The first half ended 2-2 but there was still room for two more goals in the second half through Enyimba’s Rasheed Olabiyi in the 67th minute who in a way atoned for his error which fetched the home side the opening goal. It was a goal reminisce of late Super Eagles’ goal-king Rasheed Yekini and his celebration afterwards showed how much the goal meant to him. There was still enough chance for Chisom Chikatara to nick a point for the home team in the 86th minute to ensure that the game ended 3-3. Both teams have 37 points each from 24 games.


The home team were rescued from the jaw of defeat by penalty kick specialist, Saviour Fidelis who bagged his sixth goal of the campaign in front of his supporters at the Jolly Nyame Stadium, Jalingo. Nembe fired the first goal and look poised to grab their first road victory but the home factor played out and the Yenagoa side went back home with a point to the bargain.

FC Taraba are on 32 points from as many matches while Nembe are still bottom of the log with 23 points from 24 matches.


The Promise Keepers’ captain, Ini Akpan was his club’s saving grace against hard-fighting Borno Army at the Uyo Township Stadium. It was as if it would be another drawn game for the home team after they were held by Nasarawa United in their last home game but Akpan took the job upon himself to bail his team out and he truly did in the dying moments of the encounter.

Akwa United have jumped to 35 points from 24 matches while El Kanemi Warriors are still on 32 points from as many ties.


Just like Goal predicted that the race for the highest goals scorer in the league this season between Enugu Rangers’ Ighodalor Osagona and Bayelsa United’s striker, Peter Ebimobowei. The race for the hotshot in the premier league is getting hotter between the duo after they both pulled away from their counterparts. Before the weekend  tie, Osagona has scored 13 goals while Ebimobowei was third with 10 goals but the Restoration Boys’ marksman scored a brilliant hat –trick that have drawn him level on 13 goals with the Flying Antelopes’ striker.

Ebimobowei scored three goals that fetched his team all points against Kaduna United at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin. He has scored almost half of Bayelsa United’s goals in the league this season.

Bayelsa United have left the relegation zone as they now have 30 points from 24 matches while Kaduna United have gone down to 19th on the spot with 27 points from 24 games.


The Makurdi side galloped to yet another slim home win as they move to 37 points from 24 games. The club have relied mostly on their impressive home record before a fortunate 1-0 away win against Crown FC that has catapulted them towards the top in the race for the league title.

Lobi’s victim this time around was Nasarawa United who came to the Chief Emmanuel Akume Atongo Stadium, Katsina Ala with a strategy to pick at least a point off the Dominic Iorfa inspired side but just like most premier league clubs that have visited the home side were able to get the needed match winner.

The defeat suffered by the Solid Miners made them to go a step down to third with 38 points from 24 matches while the victory took Lobi to seventh place.


The Naze Millionaires moved further up the ladder of the league table after another home win at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri over Gombe United.

The Desert Scorpions had come into the match at the back of a three match winning streak but Heartland ensured that new head coach Austin Eguavoen tasted his first league defeat as boss before the end of the 90th minutes.

Saibou Badarou and Jolly Osas were the goals scorers and the win has taken Heartland to 34 points from 24 matches while the loss slowed Gombe United down in their resolve to escape relegation zone. As they now have 29 points from as many matches.


The Ajilete Boys declared their home tie against the Blue Angels as a must win and they didn’t disappoint after they fired two goals past fading Sharks at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan on Sunday. Crown had endured three straight defeats to Lobi Stars, Heartland and Dolphins but they atoned for their recent rough patch with the victory over the Gbenga Ogunbote led Sharks.

Crown have 27 points from 24 matches and they moved a step up to 18th position while Sharks will have to regroup yet again to halt their recent slide with only 34 poiints from 24 games thus far.


The Akure Gunners were promised special incentives if they could beat Dolphins but this couldn’t spur them victory. The home side even secured a penalty kick in the 60th minute but Tamen Medrano’s kick was saved by Dolphins’ goalkeeper, Sunday Rotimi to the disappointment of the Akure fans. Five minutes of added on time still couldn’t fetch Sunshine the needed victory as they shared the point with the Pride of Port Harcourt.

Sunshine have 34 points while Dolphins have 38 points to move to second on the log on goals difference ahead of Nasarawa United. They have played 24 matches each.