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NPFL Matchday 21 Reviews: Abia Warriors grab league’s ninth away win of the season

04:37 GMT+4 15/05/2018
Abia Warriors vs. Yobe Desert Stars
The Warriors recorded the only away win of the weekend's fixtures while Sai Masu Gida and the Peace Boys closed in on the league leaders

Niger Tornadoes 1-1 Kwara United

Niger Tornadoes head coach, Hamza Abara, and his wards have been stopped at home from claiming maximum points for the first time since he took over almost three months ago after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Kwara United in Minna.

The Ikon Allah Boys only have a point to show for their efforts in their last two games and it is a far cry from the nine matches they have executed previously where they were unbeaten. They had to come back from a goal down after Segun Alebiosu, who was until midseason transfer their player, scored in the 25th minute for the Harmony Warriors before Eric Frimpong saved the hosts blushes with the equalizer in the 63rd minute.

It was the first time Tornadoes’ defense would be bridged in the last seven home fixtures also. The players that departed for other clubs during the midseason transfer is having its toll on the team and they must act fast to stop the rot.

Kwara United are among the beneficiaries of Tornadoes’ 'misfortunate' with some of their players moving to join their former boss at the club, Abubakar Bala. They captured an important away point in their determination to end the season outside the drop zone.

Tornadoes dropped a spot to fourth in the league table with 31 points from 20 matches while Kwara United are 19th with 23 points from 21 games.

 

Yobe Desert Stars 1-1 FC Ifeanyi Ubah

Yobe Desert Stars had to settle for a 1-1 draw at home to FC Ifeanyi Ubah in a league tie decided at the August 27 Stadium, Damaturu to extend the visitors unbeaten streak to five matches.

Pascal Seka got the match’s curtain-raiser in the added time of the first half to ensure that the guests were 1-0 up by halftime but Philip Auta saved the hosts blushes with the leveler in the 87th minute.

Mohammed Babaganaru’s men have only won a game in their last five matches and have lost more ground in the league table as they are now 12th with 28 points from 21 games but the Anambra Warriors are currently flying after recording successive away draws against Enyimba, Go Round and now Yobe Desert Stars.

They are 11th in the league log with 28 points from 21 matches.

 

Go Round 1-0 Wikki Tourists

Go Round held their nerves to beat Wikki Tourists 1-0 at the Krisdera Hotel Stadium, Omoku for their seventh league win of the season.

Shedrack Oghali’s 54th-minute strike proved to be the matchwinner and it saved the job of head coach, Ngozi Elechi at least for another game after he ended his three matches’ ultimatum with two wins and a loss.

The newly-promoted side have moved two places up to 14th with 26 points from 21 games but Wikki fell to 18th in the league log with 23 points from 21 fixtures after they could only muster three points from their last six matches.

 

Enugu Rangers 0-0 Akwa United

Enugu Rangers continued their lack of productivity from their home matches again after Akwa United got a share of the spoils at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.

The Flying Antelopes were hoping to record only their second home win of their last four matches in Enugu but the Promise Keepers who were also not doing well in recent matches proved that they were too hot to handle.

It was a serious setback to Enugu Rangers quest to move to within touching distance of league leaders, Lobi Stars, and their position remained unchanged at sixth with 30 points from 21 games while Akwa United are seventh with 29 points from 19 matches.

 

Sunshine Stars 2-1 Heartland

 Sunshine Stars stalled the revival of Heartland after they pipped them 2-1 at the Ondo Sports Complex, Akure.

Sikiru Alimi and Franklin Sasere put the Owena Whales in the ascendancy in the 12th and 22nd minutes while Fortune Omoniwari scored on his second debut for the Naze Millionaires a minute after the restart of the second half.

Henry Abiodun’s men are yet to keep a clean sheet since February 18 after they conceded once more but they managed to prevent Heartland from getting the equalizing goal.

They are 16th in the league log with 24 points from 21 ties while Heartland who are searching for their first win after seven games are still rooted to the bottom of the league table with 16 points from 21 games.

 

Kano Pillars 3-1 Katsina United

Kano Pillars underlined their credentials as a top contender for the league title after they defeated neighbours, Katsina United 3-1 at the Sani Abacha Stadium.

In-form attacker, Junior Lokosa was at the centre of it once again after he fired two goals in the eight and 48th minutes- for his 18th goal of the season to help turn back the Changi Boys empty-handed. Nyima Nwagua ensured there won’t be any late drama with the third goal in the 37th minute before Destiny Ashadi reduced the arrears in the 57th minute for the visitors.

Sai Masu Gida maintained their second spot in the league table with 35 points from 21 games and they have cut Lobi Stars lead to mere two points although they have played a game more than the league leaders while Katsina United are fifth in the league log with 30 points from 21 fixtures.

 

Plateau United 2-1 Nasarawa United

 

Plateau United ensured they beat Nasarawa United both home and away after they stopped them 2-1 at the Zaria Road Stadium, Jos to achieve the feat.

Raphael Ayagwa’s late goal handed them the crucial win in Lafia but they relied on Bature Yaro and Reuben Bala’s efforts in the 11th and 71st minutes to make it a double after Nojeem Olukokun had leveled for the Solid Miners their initial goal in the 50th minute.

It was a sweet return to winning ways in front of their fans after they drew their last home game against Wikki Tourists.

The victory took them to third in the league table with 33 points from 20 games. They could move to second if they win their midweek rescheduled tie with Lobi Stars in Jos.

The Solid Miners on their part were still unable to secure their first away win and they have slipped to 15th spot with 25 points from 21 games.

 

El Kanemi Warriors 1-1 Rivers United

El Kanemi Warriors have been held at home for the fourth time this season after they forced Rivers United to a 1-1 draw at the El Kanemi Sports Complex, Maiduguri.

The Borno Army relied on a last-gasp penalty kick converted by Michael Ohanu to salvage a home draw against the Pride of Rivers who forced the hosts’ defender, Aghahowa Otakho into diverting the ball into his own net in the second minute of the added time in the first half.

The draw did little to assuage El Kanemi as they remain in the relegation zone with 23 points from 20 games while the away point was sufficient to keep Rivers United in ninth place with 29 points from 21 matches.

 

MFM 0-1 Abia Warriors

 

After several near misses Abia Warriors have recorded their first away win of the season after they stunned MFM 1-0 at the Agege Stadium, Lagos.

Ndifreke Effiong scored the vital goal in the 52nd minute for his seventh goal of the season and the victory has brought the Warriors points haul from their away matches to seven but they have however lost eight points at home from the four times they have been held before their fans.

Emmanuel Deutsch’s men have shot to eighth in the league table with 29 points from 21 games while the Olukoya Boys who suffered their first home loss of the season are 13th with 27 points from 21 games.

It was the ninth time a match will be won by the visitors this season.