NPFL Matchday Three: Talking Points

Remo Stars v Sunshine Stars
The onfield entertainment in the Nigerian top flight was marred by violent scenes in Shagamu this weekend

  1. More acts of violence

    More acts of violence

    As recently as gameweek one, the referee in charge of the Plateau United vs. FC Ifeanyi Ubah was physically assaulted by home fans. This time it happened in Shagamu, when newly promoted Remo Stars and Bendel Insurance went toe to toe. The Benin outfit were awarded an opening goal which was scored from an offside position, and even though Remo equalised, their fans took the law into their hands by assaulting the referee, leaving him in a bloodied state. The usual punishment would be a fine and banishment from home base, but the League Management Company need to come up with much tougher sanctions that will eliminate these appalling acts moving forward.

  2. Kada City off to winning start

    Kada City off to winning start

    Just within a year of formation, Kada City gained automatic promotion to the NPFL as Nigeria National League champions. That’s already the stuff of fairytales, and the Kaduna-based outfit started life in the top flight on a very impressive note with a 2-1 win over fellow-promoted team Gombe United. It was truly an awesome way to mark their debut, and might have been a further indication that there's more excitement to come from the new boys.

  3. Improved away form continues

    Improved away form continues

    Home victories have typically been the norm in the Nigerian top flight, but this season, things are beginning to change, and hosts are finding the going tougher. Having seen big wins and impressive results on the road on the opening two matchdays, matchday three offered more excitement with one win and three draws were recorded. Memorably, Heartland dispatched Nasarawa United 1-0 away, in a victory that may set the tone for their season. These are the kind of results that many would love to see on a consistent basis in the Nigerian top flight, because they make things less predictable and more entertaining.

  4. Goal action aplenty

    Goal action aplenty

    It's not every week that an NPFL matchday produces so many goals, but this Sunday was a different story, as three of the eight matches produced three goals or more. The pick of the action was Kwara United’s 3-2 victory over record Nigerian champions Enyimba, with Go Round FC's match against FC Ifeanyi Ubah the only match to end goalless.

  5. Mbaoma still a key for Remo Stars

    Mbaoma still a key for Remo Stars

    Remo Stars might have been relegated in their maiden season in the NPFL, but the fact that they have retained the bulk of the youthful and exciting squad has ensured that they've maintained a certain level of quality. One man who is key to their plans is captain Victor Mbaoma. Having scored 11 goals during the 2017 campaign, he joined Akwa United on loan the following year, and has now returned to his parent club. He’s picked up from where he left off, and scored the only goal for his side as they drew 1-1 against Bendel Insurance. In 2017, he also scored in the league opener against eventual champions Plateau United, but can he succeed in leading the Sky Blue Stars to safety this time around?