NPFL Matchday 11 Reviews: Akwa United stun Heartland; MFM widen the gap at the top



Wikki Tourists ended their three matches winless streak with a comfortable 2-0 home win over Rivers United on Sunday at the Pantami Stadium, Gombe.

Sunday's defeat is only the second for the Garden City team this season.

Abba Umar who was a major doubt before the game owing to an ankle injury recovered in time to net his fifth goal of the campaign in the 19th minute and Issa Gata was on hand to score the second goal in the 70th minute to put the game beyond the reach of the Pride of Rivers.

The routine home win has taken the Giant Elephants to sixth in the NPFL Group A table with 12 points from 10 games ahead of the reverse fixture this weekend in Port Harcourt.

The loss didn’t have much effect on Stanley Eguma’s men position on the league log and are now fourth with 13 points from nine games.


Katsina United kept their unbeaten home run intact after they pipped Kwara United 1-0 at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium on Sunday.

Martins Usule scored what turned out to be the winning goal in the 13th minute. He and his teammates were able to repel the Harmony Boys from getting the equaliser for the rest of the game. The Changi Boys are fifth in the Group A league table with 13 points from nine games while Kwara United are seventh with 12 points from 10 matches.

Abubakar Bala and his players must regroup this weekend to have their pound of flesh when they face the same Katsina United at the Kwara State Sports Complex, Ilorin.



Enyimba stretched their unbeaten record to four matches after they battled Sunshine Stars to a goalless draw at the Ondo State Sports Complex, Akure on Sunday.

The Owena Whales have not gone three games without a win and this is threatening to undo the effect of the good start had by Kabiru Dogo at the helms. The home team tried everything possible to return to winning ways after their recent home draw against Bendel Insurance and the 2-0 away loss to MFM in Lagos.

Though they are presently third in the NPFL Group A log with 13 points from nine games they can’t afford to lose more points at home as they get set for Lobi Stars on Wednesday in a rearranged matchday 2 tie in Akure. Enyimba on their part solidified their second spot in the table with 16 points from 11 matches. 



MFM continued with their awesome start to the season after diffusing Bendel Insurance 2-0 at the Agege Stadium, Lagos on Sunday to open a five-point gap at the top of the NPFL Group A table with 21 points from 10 games.

The Olukoya Boys were meant to struggle at the commencement of the season after several of their key players left for rival top-flight clubs but Fidelis Ilechukwu showed he is a true transformer of talents after his new-look team keeps on putting their detractors to shame through their impressive performances.

Olawale Abisoye put the Olukoya Boys in the lead in the 39th minute before Michael Ohanu doubled the advantage 13 minutes into the second half to make a comeback difficult for the Edo Arsenal.

MFM will have the prospect of widening their lead at the top on Wednesday when they slug it out with Katsina United in a rescheduled league Matchday Nine tie at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina in their remaining outstanding game.

Bendel Insurance slid further in the league table as a result of the loss as they are now 11th with nine points from 10 games. Insurance are yet to win a game since their Matchday Six 1-0 home win over Lobi Stars and they will host MFM on Sunday at the UNIBEN Sports Complex, Benin in a return leg of the tie.



Yobe Desert Stars made good their boast before the game that they would beat GO Round after they defeated the Omoku-based side 2-0 at the August 27th Stadium, Damaturu on Sunday.

The old warhorse, Philip Auta wind back the clock to record an awesome performance with two breathtaking goals in the eighth and 57th minutes with the curtain raiser coming from the penalty spot.

It was Ngozi Elechi’s first win in the last six matches and their third victory of the campaign. Even though they are still at the bottom of the NPFL Group B with 10 points from 10 games they could climb out of the relegation zone with a home triumph against Abia Warriors on Wednesday in a rescheduled NPFL matchday 3 tie in Damaturu.



Kada City barely survived a home scare on Sunday at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna after they came back from a goal down to beat Nasarawa United in controversial circumstances.

The Solid Miners struck first in the 61st minute after Mohammed Maigishiri shot the visitors ahead but Nura Mohammed was on hand to level proceedings just 10 minutes later before the contestable penalty kick that was awarded in the 95th minute of the tie to the home team and it was duly dispatched by Kabiru Sanusi for the match-winner.

Though Kada City moved to their season high fourth spot in the NPFL Group B with 16 points from 10 matches amidst the ownership tussle between the owner of the club, Ekene Adams and the Delta State Government, the team’s excitement of a home win was replaced with sadness when news filtered in that Hafsat, the daughter of Sanusi who scored the winning goal had died shortly after the game from an undisclosed ailment.

Nasarawa United would be hard done by the manner of their loss to the Crocodiles Boys in Kaduna as they were only a few seconds away from securing their second successive away point of the season but they will have the opportunity to seek a pound of flesh this weekend when they host the same Kada City team in Lafia.

The Solid Miners are eighth in the league table with 13 points from 11 games.



Abia Warriors picked a precious point off Plateau United last season in the Matchday 24 tie that turned out to be the last game of that season but the Peace Boys got their revenge on Sunday at the Umuahia Township Stadium after they held their adversaries to a 1-1 draw.

The Umuahia landlords were hoping to bounce back from their 2-0 away setback to Kano Pillars before the break and also end their four games without a win but they were shocked by the strike of Oche Salefu in the 51st minute who netted his first goal of the season but Henry Makinwa’s men were unrelenting and they were rewarded with the equalizing goal in the 67th minute through Pius Samson to ensure they didn’t suffer their second home loss of the season.

Abia Warriors are in the ninth spot courtesy of the draw which slipped them into the drop zone with 12 points from 10 games and they must avoid another unpalatable result in Damaturu on Wednesday in their remaining outstanding game against Yobe Desert Stars.

Plateau United head coach, Abdu Maikaba had disclosed before the game that his players were under compulsion to secure a positive result from the encounter after their surprise home loss to Kada City before the Nigerian general elections break and they were a delight to watch in Umuahia.

The Peace Boys are still in the relegation zone despite the away draw as they have 12 points from 11 games but they will have the chance of moving out of it if they are able to beat the same Abia Warriors on Sunday in Jos. They will return for the weekend game fresher of the two teams with Abia Warriors on duty during the midweek in Damaturu.



FC IfeanyiUbah got the needed three points to remain at the top of the NPFL Group B table with 21 points from 11 games after they pipped Kano Pillars 1-0 at the Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium, Nnewi on Sunday.

Uche Ihuarulam who featured for the time in front of his new team’s fans scored the only goal of the game in the 66th minute to ensure that the hard-fighting Sai Masu Gida return to Kano without a share of the spoils. The Anambra Warriors will travel to Kano for the second leg of the league tie this weekend in Kano.

Pillars’ fourth loss of the season has seen them slide to sixth in the league log with 14 points from 10 games and they must buckle up this weekend when they host the same team at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.      



Heartland's unimpressive results of recent got to its lowest ebb on Sunday at the Okigwe Township Stadium after they suffered their first home loss of the season against Akwa United.

The Naze Millionaires played the last 16 minutes of the second half with a man down because of the straight red card to Ebele Obi who touched the ball outside the 18-yard box to prevent Mfon Udoh from increasing the Promise keepers’ goal tally in the game.

Despite a brilliant start by the home team, it was Akwa United that drew the first blood in the fourth minute after Mfon Udoh fed Ndifreke Effiong who side-footed the ball beyond the gaping hands of Obi and the visitors went into the halftime with the 1-0 lead.

Heartland made two substitutions at the start of the second half and this was impactful as they got the leveller in the 57th minute through Chidiebere Ajoku after a nice cross from Felix Osia but their lead didn’t last after the Promise Keepers scored the second goal in the 72nd minute through Man of the Match, Mfon Udoh who was played on by Cyril Olisema.

Every attempt to stage a comeback by the numerical disadvantaged Heartland team was repelled as Akwa United held on and have now moved to the second spot in the NPFL Group B with 19 points from 11 games while their hosts slipped to seventh with 14 points from 11 games as a result of the loss.

Both teams will slug it out again this weekend at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.



El Kanemi Warriors have lost their home invincibility in the top flight this season after they were prevented from earning their sixth home win of the season by desperate Gombe United at the El Kanemi Sports Complex, Maiduguri on Sunday.

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The Borno Army were hoping to make it a second back-to-back win this season after they beat Heartland 2-0 in the last game before the general elections break but they were repelled by the Savannah Scorpions who were also looking for a positive result after their home loss to GO Round and the draw with Akwa United also in Gombe.

The draw was a bad omen for Borno Army because they have now been displaced in the second spot by Akwa United but only on goals difference.

They have 19 points from 11 games to slide to the third spot while Gombe United who have now secured three away points are 11th in the league table with 11 points from 11 matches.