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NPFL Matchday Five Reviews: Sunshine Stars, FC IfeanyiUbah secure win

6:33 PM GMT 28/01/2019
Remo Stars v Sunshine Stars
The Owena Whales and the Anambra Warriors crucial away victories headlined top-flight games played on Sunday across some cities in Nigeria


Remo Stars began life at their adopted home in Oshogbo with a home win against Kastina United with Victor Mbaoma and Kingsley Akemini’s goals in the third and 78th minutes of the encounter.

Mbaoma scored his second goal of the season to help the Sky Blue Stars record their first win of the season after three games and are still unbeaten in the top-flight this term. They have five points from the games and will face Rivers United on Wednesday in a rescheduled Matchday One tie in Port Harcourt. Remo Stars are second in Group A with five points from three games.

Katsina United have lost their first game of the season on Sunday after they began the season with 1-0 home win over Wikki Tourists. They were quickly dismembered in Oshogbo through the early strike of Mbaoma and are now last in Group A with three points from two games. They have three matches at hand.



Kabiru Dogo’s magical wand seemed to be working with Sunshine Stars after they got their first victory of the season in an away game against Wikki Tourists at the Pantami Stadium, Gombe. Chibundu Amah reacted fastest to tuck home the Owena Whales only goal of the game in the 81st minute after the Giant Elephants goalkeeper had initially saved the penalty kick of Sunday Abe.

It was the same Amah that was fouled in the 18-yard box after an excellent pass from Peter Ibe three minutes before the goal and the vital win has taken Sunshine Stars to fourth in Group A with five points from three games. They are among the five teams that are yet to suffer a defeat this season in their group.

Wikki Tourists’ loss at home to Sunshine Stars is their second defeat of the season after only three games. They are 11th in Group A with three points from three games.



Rivers United laboured to a 1-0 home win over MFM in a game decided at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt. It was an own goal scored by Austin Opara that saved the Pride of Rivers blushes in the 59th minute of the encounter to preserve their unbeaten start to the season.

Stanley Eguma’s men are third in Group A with five points from three games. They could ascend the top of the group if they beat Remo Stars on Wednesday in a re-arranged game.

It was another failed adventure for the Olukoya Boys who have relied on their home invincibility to remain on top of the group with six points from four games but have lost the two away games they have prosecuted thus far.



Enugu Rangers made amends for their midweek away loss to MFM after the shocked Enyimba 1-0 in a game they reportedly dominated at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.

Ajani Ibrahim popped up in the 40th minute to score the only goal of the game for the Flying Antelopes’ first win of the campaign after two games. It was the morale-boosting Rangers needed ahead of their weekend’s confrontation with Salitas of Burkina Faso in their first group stage tie of the Caf Confederation Cup competition. They are currently ninth in Group A with three points from two games.

Enyimba’s indifferent start to the season continued in Enugu when they lost their second consecutive away game to Rangers. They could not salvage an away point after they lost two vital points at home against Lobi Stars on Wednesday in Aba. They have slipped to seventh in the league table with four points from four games.   



Lobi Stars prepared in style for the visit of Wydad Casablanca of Morocco on Friday this week with a 3-0 whitewash of Kwara United at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi in their first home game in the top-flight this season.

Michael Stephens’ 10th-minute effort and a double from Yaya Kone in the 29th and 34th minutes ensured that the reigning league champions headed to the half time with a three-goal blitz but none in the second half after the Harmony Boys firmed up their defence.   

The Pride of Benue had started the season with an away draw in Aba against Enyimba and securing four points under three days is a perfect way to show the visitors from Morocco that they will be ready for serious business on matchday. They are sixth in the league table with four points from two games. Solomon Ogbeide’s men still have three games at hand.

Kwara United on their part have succumbed to their second away loss of the season from the three games they have played outside Ilorin. They have slumped to fifth in the league table with five points from five games.  



Bernard Ogbe’s second coming to Niger Tornadoes has not yielded the necessary effect after they were held to a draw at home again by Bendel Insurance for the third time from three home games they have played at the Bako Kotangora Stadium, Minna.

With the abridged league format meant to produce four relegated teams from Group A, the Ikon Allah Boys must buckle up if they do not want to be shoved aside. They are currently 10th with three points but they will be under serious pressure by the time others in their group complete their outstanding matches.

Monday Odigie inspired Bendel Insurance are yet to secure a win in the return season to the elite division after three games but they have picked two away points against Remo Stars and now against Tornadoes which has already nullified the two points they lost at home against Kwara United on Wednesday.

They are eighth in Group A with three points from three games. They still have two rescheduled league games against Wikki Tourists (away) and Enyimba (home) and they will surely move up the ladder if they are able to make the most of both fixtures when they are played.



Abia Warriors were held to a goalless draw at home by Gombe United at the Umuahia Township Stadium in a game marred by a heavy downpour.

The home team dominated the game in the first half and could have been three or four goals ahead at halftime had they converted the chances they created and they were made to rue their profligacy when the Desert Scorpions woke in the second half taking advantage of the waterlogged pitch to launch a counter-attack.

Abia Warriors are eighth in Group B with four points from four games while Gombe United are sixth with four points from three matches. Ladan Bosso’s men will travel to Damaturu next for a rescheduled league tie with Yobe Desert Stars on Wednesday.



FC IfeanyiUbah’ season’s fairy tale continued at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Sunday after they shocked Kada City 1-0 to ensure that the newly promoted club suffered their first home loss after only two games before their fans.

Chibuike Eze’s effort in the 62nd minute was the difference in Kaduna and it stretched the Anambra Warriors unbeaten streak to five games. They are yet to concede any goal in those games too. Mohammed Hussein’s men are on top of Group B with 11 points from five games.

Kada City who have another away game on Thursday against Go Round in a rescheduled league game are 10th in the top-flight log with three points from three games.



Plateau United were held at home by Kano Pillars at their adopted home at the Lafia Stadium in Nasarawa State where they are serving the banishment meted out to them by the League Management Company (LMC) for the unruly behaviour of their fans.

The Peace Boys reacted very well to their away loss to Heartland in their second game of the season with an emphatic 2-0 home win against El Kanemi Warriors in Ilorin and the 2-2 draw they got in Uyo against Akwa United. They were however given reality check by Sai Masu Gida who also halted their recent uninspiring results with their first away point of the season.

Abdu Maikaba’s men are fourth in Group A with six points from five games while Ibrahim Musa’s lads are fifth with five points from five matches.    


Yobe Desert Stars have earned their first home win of the season after they pipped Heartland 1-0 at the August 27 Stadium, Damaturu.

James Odey came from the bench to net the winner in the 65th minute of the game and the victory halted the Naze Millionaires’ three-match winning streak and their second loss of the season after their opening day loss to Kano Pillars by the same scores.

Yobe Stars started their season last Wednesday against FC IfeanyiUbah and they lost the tie 1-0 but they bounced back against the former league leaders to move to ninth in Group B with three points from two games while Heartland only dropped by a spot to second with nine points from five games.