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NPFL Matchday Four Review: MFM daze Enugu Rangers as FC IfeanyiUbah continue impressive march

16:13 GMT 24/01/2019
MFM FC
The Olukoya Boys halted the unbeaten run of the Flying Antelopes and the Anambra Warriors home win were among the NPFL games played midweek

KATSINA UNITED 1-0 WIKKI TOURISTS

Katsina United pipped Wikki Tourists 1-0 after a late minute strike from Sheriff Bashir at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina. The Chanji Boys found it difficult to penetrate through the defence of the Giant Elephant and it became difficult more difficult after the referee canceled Tasiu Lawal first-half goal for offside and Wikki goalkeeper Pius Ibrahim saving the penalty kick awarded to the home team when they became more desperate in the second half.

Bashir who joined Katsina United at the start of the season from Abia Warriors was the last dice of the hat for Abdullahi Biffo’s men and he lived up to expectation popping home the only goal of the game in the 90th minute to the thrill of the fans and supporters. It was Katsina United’s first game of the season as they have been excused from the first three matches because of their coach’s sudden disappearance. He was later freed by his abductors on Wednesday to make it a double celebration for Chanji Boys.

 

SUNSHINE STARS 1-1 RIVERS UNITED

Just like Sunshine Stars head coach, Kabiru Dogo stressed before the game with Rivers United that it would be tough. It was after Owena Whales could only salvage a 1-1 draw at the Ondo Sports Complex, Akure against the Pride of Rivers.

Fuad Ekelujuoti got the curtain raiser for Sunshine Stars in the 49th minute but when they thought they would edge Rivers United, Wasiu Jimoh equalised for the visitors five minutes later to ensure that they both have a share of the spoils. Sunshine are still in the hunt for their first win of the season while Rivers United are also in the same dilemma.

 

MFM 1-0 ENUGU RANGERS

New look MFM are proving doubters wrong after they defeated highly rated Enugu Rangers 1-0 at the Agege Stadium, Lagos on Wednesday. The Olukoya Boys were able to recover from their initial hiccups against the Flying Antelopes after Michael Uchebo who played his first game for the Caf Confederation Cup campaigners missed two gilt-edged chances in the opening 15 minutes and the host went ahead in the 23rd minute through Kabiru Adeniji who reacted fastest to stab home to opener to the delight of his teammates and head coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu.

The victory takes MFM to the top of Group A with six points from three games while the loss which was Enugu Rangers’ first in the ongoing season in all competitions came as a surprise to purists who felt that Gbenga Ogunbote’s men poorest outing should fetch them at least a draw. They are last in the group albeit with just a game played.
 

ENYIMBA 0-0 LBI STARS

At last Lobi Stars finally secured their first away point of the season after their free-fall in the Caf Champions League in all the games they have played outside Nigeria.

The Pride of Benue surprised themselves and Enyimba when they got a draw at the Emyimba International Stadium, Aba ostensibly because of the People’s Elephant wastefulness in front of goal throughout the course of the game and the hosts were fortunate that Nojeem Olukokun didn’t convert the golden chance he had at the dead for the visitors.

Solomon Ogbeide who is the head coach of Lobi Stars seemed to have found a solution to his side unimpressive away outings while Usman Abdallah must tell his players the plain truth that must lift their game and strive to take their chances better than they have done in their first two games if they are to be considered as among the frontrunners. Enyimba are third in Group A with four points from three games while Lobi are 11th with a point but with three games at hand.


BENDEL INSURANCE 0-0 KWARA UNITED

It was a very charged atmosphere in Benin when Bendel Insurance hosted their first top-flight game in 11 years against Kwara United but they were unable to get their desired result as the fixture ended goalless.

Insurance came into the game at the back of their 1-1 draw against Remo Stars in Shagamu last weekend and they were hoping that they would secure maximum points against the Harmony Boys who have been lukewarm since the season began but the Edo Arsenal were resisted to ensure that Abubakar Bala’s men grab their first away points. Insurance are eighth in the league log in Group A with two points from two games while Kwara United are second with five points from four games.
 

NIGER TORNADOES 0-0 REMO STARS

Tornadoes were unable to make home advantage count for the second time in the NPFL this season after they were held once again at the Bako Kotangora Stadium, Minna by elite division returnee, Remo Stars on Wednesday.

Bernard Ogbe’s men played a 1-1 draw in their first home game against Rivers United and after their improved performance against Wikki Tourists in Gombe last weekend their fans were expecting at least a closely fought home win but the Sky Blue Stars who have been banished to Oshogbo for their next three home matches and fined six million naira over their crowd infraction last weekend against Bendel Insurance responded very well with the draw had in Minna.

Tornadoes and Remo Stars are 10th and ninth with two points each after three and two games respectively.
 

FC IFEANYI UBAH 1-0 YOBE STARS

FC IfeanyiUbah did just enough to secure their second consecutive home win at their fortress at the Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium, Nnewi against Yobe Desert Stars on Wednesday after a slim 1-0 win.

The Anambra Warriors are the only remaining club that is yet to suffer a defeat in the ongoing season in Group B after Chinonso Udeh latched home the winning goal in the 23rd minute from a well-taken freekick which slalomed into the net without touching any of the players from about 25 yards away.

FC IfeanyiUbah’s Chinedu Anozie kept another clean-sheet against the Damaturu side to make it a fourth successive game he will be doing so. He is the only goalkeeper yet to concede a goal in Group B after four matches. The home win ensured that Uche Okagbue’s men move to second in the league table in the group with eight points from four games while Yobe Desert Stars who only played their first game of the season on Wednesday are last in the group without a point yet.


HEARTLAND 1-0 GO ROUND

Go Round will feel hard done by the manner in which they lost their away game to Heartland in Okigwe despite almost securing a draw before their former player Okon Otop came back to hurt them at the death to hand the Naze Millionaires priceless three points.

Heartland dazed Plateau United 3-0 in their first home game of the season last midweek but they struggled to even get one against Dare the Lions from Omoku before Samuel Nnoshiri again provided the key assist in the 94th minute from a well-floated freekick which Otop tucked home to ensure that the Owerri side are still top of Group B with nine points from four games. They have won their last three games to make them the most in-form team in the league this season.

Go Round who suffered their first loss of the campaign in Okigwe are fifth with four points from three games.


AKWA UNITED 2-2 PLATEAU UNITED

Akwa United and Plateau United’s unimpressive start to the season continued at the midweek in Uyo when both teams played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in a Matchday four tie.

The Promise Keepers are yet to secure their first win of the season after three games after they opened the season with a 1-0 home loss to El Kanemi Warriors but they have got draws in their last two games with Kano Pillars (away) and now Plateau United at home in a fixture they had under wrap before the stunner in the 92nd minute of the game.

Mfon Udoh who recently rejoined his former team from Enyimba netted twice in the 19th and 83rd minutes for the first time in three seasons after his injury woes but the Peace Boys backed by Abdu Maikaba who previously worked with Akwa United came back to equalize to the disappointment of the fans. Bernard Ovoke’s goal in the 59th minute for his second successive goal for his new team and Benjamin Turba’s stoppage-time leveler ensured that the 2017 league champions had a share of the spoils in Uyo.

Rafael Everton’s Akwa United are 11th in Group B with two points from three games while Plateau United are fourth with five points from four games.


GOMBE UNITED 2-0 KANO PILLARS

Gombe United have earned their first home win of the season after they stopped Kano Pillars 2-0 at the Pantami Stadium through the goals of Usman Musa and Babangida Ibrahim in the 39th and 71st minutes of the explosive encounter.

The Desert Scorpions began life in their return tie to the top-flight with a 2-1 away loss to Kada City but Ladan Bosso’s men came back to sting Sai Masu Gida in the return match of Coach Ibrahim Musa who was reinstated as head coach two days before the tie. Gombe United are seventh in the league log with three points from two games while Kano Pillars who must brace up if they are serious about making a positive impact are sixth with four points from four matches.

 

ABIA WARRIORS 1-0 KADA CITY

Abia Warriors finally secured their first win of the season at home to Kada City after Emeka Isaac’s 83rd-minute spot kick nicked the maximum points at the Umuahia Township Stadium.

Henry Makinwa’s men had started the season with a 1-0 away loss to Nasarawa United before another defeat at home to Go Round threatened to compound their season but they managed to beat Kada City who played their first away game in the top-flight in the game since they won the lower league playoff in Aba and followed it up with a 2-1 home win over Gombe United in their debut fixture in the NPFL.

Abia Warriors are ninth in Group B with three points while Kada City are eighth with three points from two games.