NPFL Matchday Seven Review: Akwa United secure first away win

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The Promise Keepers got their first away win and the Owena Whale' unbeaten run came to an end on Thursday

WIKKI TOURISTS 2-1 ENYIMBA

Wikki Tourists bounced back from two consecutive losses to Sunshine Stars and MFM with a 2-1 home win against Enyimba at the Pantami Stadium, Gombe on Thursday evening.

The tie initially gave inkling that it could be another home loss for the Giant Elephants after Abdulrahman Bashir put the visitors at the driver’s seat in the 10th minute for his third goal of the season but impressive Abba Umar ensured that his team won’t suffer another heartbreak with two breathtaking goals one in each half in the 28th and 47th minutes to turn the game around. It was Wikki’s third win of the season and it has taken them to their highest position in the past three seasons of second in the league table with nine points from six games.

The defeat is another setback for Enyimba who have now lost all their three away games this season. They have also slipped to fifth in the Group A league table with seven points from six games.      
 

RIVERS UNITED 0-0 KWARA UNITED

Rivers United could not be third time lucky against Kwara United who came to Port Harcourt with a strategy and perfectly executed it to the best of their ability to run away with a share of the spoils at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium on Wednesday.

All the attackers of Rivers United from Wasiu Jimoh to Bright Onyedikachi, Ossy Martins, Kehinde Adedipe and others flattered to deceive the sparsely populated stadium and they found no answers to the questions presented to them by the defenders of the Harmony Boys led by Andrew Ikefe, Lookman Binuyo, Uwana Asuquo and Yusuf Mohammed who was very impressive at the goalposts.

Rivers United have moved a step down to third in the league table with nine points from six games while Kwara United are 10th with six points from six games. Abubakar Bala’s men have however played more away games. 
 

REMO STARS 0-1 MFM

Remo Stars are feeling the negative effect of their banishment to Osogbo Township Stadium for the unruly behaviour of their fans in their home tie with Bendel Insurance. They managed to open the first of their three games with a win against Katsina United but they were shocked 1-0 by neighbours, MFM on Wednesday.

They will be away at Enyimba in Aba next this weekend before ending their exile to Osogbo with a fixture with Kwara United. Despite arriving the top-flight this season with high expectations the Sky Blue Stars are currently at the wrong end of the league table. They are 11th with five points from six games.

It was MFM first away win in the last two seasons and the win has seen them opened up a three-point gap at the top of Group A with 12 points. Kabir Adeniji scored the solitary goal in the 13th minute and Remo Stars were unable to stage a comeback. Adeniji has now scored three goals in the ongoing season.   

 

NIGER TORNADOES 1-0 SUNSHINE STARS

It seemed Niger Tornadoes have a connection with Hamza Abara who is the interim Technical Adviser of the team after the departure of Bernard Ogbe who was unable to steer the team to a win from five games he has prosecuted as head coach.

Abara who assisted him has been drafted in to rescue the team the same way he did when Erasmus Onuh was sacked over poor results last season. Abara came in and Tornadoes experienced a massive turnaround and they were comfortable in the league table at the end of the season. He has started his reign with a home win against Sunshine Stars who were yet to suffer a defeat in their opening four games they have played before facing the Ikon Allah Boys on Thursday at the Bako Kotangora Stadium, Minna. The Owena Whales fell due to the effect of Abara whose rousing sermon to his players to show the right character was returned with their first victory of the season. Awwal Tanko waited for the right time to put his team ahead in the 13th minute and it was how the game ended.

Tornadoes for the first time this season left the bottom of the league table due to the home win. They now have six points from seven games and are placed ninth in the league table but the away defeat to 10 men Sunshine Stars have come with a cost as they have slipped in the title race to fourth with eight points from five matches.   

 

YOBE DESERT STARS 0-1 AKWA UNITED

Akwa United seemed to have got their groove back after they captured their first away win of the season at Yobe Desert Stars on Thursday.

The Promise Keepers had a win to remember in Damaturu last season which shot them to the second spot behind Lobi Stars in their NPFL Matchday 24 tie which turned out to be the last game of the season before it was abruptly stopped due to the prevailing circumstances in Nigerian football at the time. They have made it back to back win at the August 27th Stadium, Damaturu and have risen to the seventh position with eight points from six games. Mfon Udoh struck in the 30th minute for the only goal of the game and his third of the season for the Uyo team.

Yobe Desert Stars have tumbled to 11th in the Group B league table with six points from five games due to the home loss.   

 

GO ROUND 2-1 KANO PILLARS

Go Round created a sensational upset when they pipped Kano Pillars 2-1 at the Krisdera Hotel Stadium, Omoku on Wednesday.

AkabaOtega shot Go Round into the lead in the 33rd minute but Sai Masu Gida equalized in the injury time of the first half through Rabiu Ali fierce shot to ensure that the first half ended 1-1 apiece but Adeseun Adelani ensured that there won’t be any need for a share of the spoils when he netted six minutes into the second half for what turned out to be the match-winner.  Go Round are now fourth in Group B with 11 points from seven games.

Kano Pillars have passed up a golden opportunity to grab another away point after their first of the season against Plateau United in Lafia. They are now eighth in the top-flight Group B with eight points from seven games.        

 

NASARAWA UNITED 2-1 PLATEAU UNITED

Nasarawa United reportedly dominated  Plateau United at the Lafia Stadium in the North Central derby and they deservedly won 2-1 on Thursday evening.

Bala  Nikyu’s men scored twice through Sunusi Ibrahim and Adeshola Johnson in the seventh and 54th minutes and they had other chances to widen the lead but were either wasteful in front of goal or denied by the reflex saves of Dele Ajiboye. The Solid Miners would later pay for their profligacy when Emmanuel Odafe reduced the deficit in the 93rd minute to ensure that their hosts had a nervy end to the fixture.

Nasarawa United are sixth in the league table in Group B with nine points from seven games while Plateau United who have their Technical Adviser, Abdu Maikaba away in Niger Republic on a national assignment with the Flying Eagles are now 10th with seven points from seven matches.  

 

KADA CITY 2-1 EL KANEMI WARRIORS

Kada City’s Kabiru Sanusi’s perfectly struck free-kick at the death ensured that the newly promoted side secured their second win of the season in their 2-1 home victory against El Kanemi Warriors at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Wednesday.

It was a massive turnaround for the Crocodile Boys who went behind in the game in the 16th minute when Abubakar Umar got the curtain raiser for the Borno Army. Kada City were a goal at halftime but they leveled the tie in the 69th minute when Anayo Iwuala made it two goals in his last two games for his team. Iwuala benefitted from Sanusi’s saved spot-kick by El Kanemi goalkeeper, Itodo Akor to guide home the rebound for the equalizer and Sanusi made amends for his penalty miss with the winning goal in the dying moments of the game.

Kada City have moved to ninth in the league in Group B with seven points from six games while El Kanemi Warriors have slipped from the second spot to the third in the league table with 12 points from seven matches.  

  

ABIA WARRIORS 1-0 HEARTLAND

Abia Warriors still kept their unbeaten record against Heartland in competitive games intact after eight games after they beat the Naze Millionaires 1-0 at the Umuahia Township Stadium.

Samson Obi scored the crucial goal in the 25th minute after he landed an unstoppable pile-driver from over 25 yards which caught Heartland goalkeeper, Oluwasegun Fatunwase napping. The Warriors have beaten Heartland five times in the league and they drew the other three in the eight times that they have played in the top-flight.

Abia Warriors have succeeded in securing a back-to-back win in the league for the first time this season and they are now fifth in Group B with 10 points from six games while Heartland have been displaced at the top of the table. They are now second with 12 points from seven matches.  

 

FC  IFEANYI UBAH 2-0 GOMBE UNITED

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FC Ifeanyi Ubah returned to winning ways against Gombe United whom they defeated 2-0 at the Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium, Nnewi after their blip against Abia Warriors last weekend.

The loss to Abia Warriors was their first in the league this season and it was also the first time they conceded goals with their goalkeeper, Chinedu Anozie having kept five clean sheets before the game. They ensured that they didn’t suffer further hangover of the loss when they thrashed the Desert scorpions through the goals of Ikenna Cooper and Nonso Nzediegwu in the 73rd and 90th minutes.

The Anambra Warriors have taken over the leadership of Group B from Heartland. They have opened a two-point lead at the top with 14 points from seven games while Gombe United are at the bottom of the group with five points from six games.   

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