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NPFL Matchday 23 Reviews: Akwa United close gap on Lobi Stars after win in Damaturu

08:21 GMT+3 11/06/2018
Akwa United
A second-half strike handed the Promise Keepers an away victory in Damaturu, leaving them just two points adrift of the top spot

Yobe Desert Stars 0-1 Akwa United

The Promise Keepers' title challenge looked to be clear after they cut the gap with Lobi Stars at the top to two points with a 1-0 win against the Desert Warriors on Sunday.

Abdu Maikaba's side had picked up nine points from their last three games prior to Sunday evening, and Micheal Ibe's 76th-minute effort gave the visitors a deserved fourth successive win. 

After the home defeat to Akwa, things got worse for Yobe as they have failed to four straight games, losing their last three matches.

The away win took Maikaba's side to second on the log with 41 points, while Yobe Desert Stars dropped to 19th spot with 28 points after similar 24 matches.


Kwara United 1-0 FC Ifeanyi Ubah

The Harmony Warriors moved out of the relegation zone following a 1-0 victory against the Anambra Warriors at the Kwara Sports Complex, Ilorin.

The hosts had only lost two of their last 11 matches and were looking forward to securing their third home win in a row for the first time this term against the visitors.

Chinedu Sunday's first-half strike was all Abubakar Bala's side required to earn a win, condemning Ladan Bosso's men to their third consecutive loss in a row.

The win propelled Kwara to 15th on the log with 29 points from 24 games, while FC Ifeanyi Ubah crashed into the drop zone, being 17th on the log with 28 points.


Niger Tornadoes 1-0 Wikki Tourist

The Ikon Allah Boys returned to the top six of the Nigerian topflight log after they defeated the Giant Elephants 1-0 at the Bako Kotangora Stadium.

After their 2-0 loss to Akwa United in Uyo, Hamza Abara's side were seeking maximum points to improve their good run in the second phase against Bala Nikyu's men.

Mubarak Ejiogu's 28th minute goal gave the Minna based side the three points as they denied their relegation-threatened visitors a chance to secure a third win in a row.

With the win, Niger Tornadoes are the sixth spot with 37 points, while Wikki Tourist are 14th with 29 points after 24 games.


Go Round 1-0 Lobi Stars 

The Omoku Boys swam out of the drop zone following a 1-0 triumph over the leaders Pride of Benue at the Krisdera Stadium, Omoku.

Ngozi Elechi's men had bowed 1-0 to Akwa United and Heartland respectively and were seeking to earn their first win in three matches against the table-toppers.

After a goalless first half, the hosts gained a winner courtesy of Shedrack Oghali's 69th-minute strike as the visitors suffered a second defeat on a bounce.

After the victory, Go Round climbed to 16th on the log with 29 points, while Lobi Stars still remain at the top, though their lead was cut to two points by Akwa United.


Enugu Rangers 1-0 Heartland

The Flying Antelopes ended their four-match winless run with a 1-0 home victory over the Naze Millionaires at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.

Going into the encounter, the hosts were aiming for a double over the visitors, having earned a 1-0 win in the initial meeting this season in Owerri earlier this January.

Gbenga Ogunbote's side only needed Ifeanyi George's 24th minute effort helped the hosts edged past their visitors to their first win five consecutive matches.

The win keeps Enugu Rangers in the top 10 places with 33 points from 24 games, while Heartland are still rock-bottom after the defeat in Enugu.


Enyimba 2-0 Katsina United

The People Elephants' earned a consecutive home win as they defeated the Chanji Boys at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar.
After their 1-0 win against Lobi Stars during the week, the Aba giants closed the gap with the top five places and anticipated a clinical display to silence the visitors.

They lost 2-0 in the first leg loss back January to Katsina, but, however, got a goal each in either half from Uche John and Joseph Osadiaye to subdue Abdullahi Biffo's side.

With the outcome, Enyimba moved to fifth on the log with 37 points - six adrift of leaders Lobi Stars, while Katsina United dropped to seventh with 36 points.


Sunshine Stars 2-0 Nasarawa United 

The Owena Whales eased their relegation fears following a clinical home win against the Solid Miners at the Akure Sports Complex.

Relegation-troubled Henry Aboidun's side were desperate to avoid another slip-up at home and the bid to avenge their 2-0 first leg loss earlier in January this season.

The host found a breakthrough through Jide Fatokun in the 28th minute before Sikiru Alimi made it 2-0 a minute from full time, grabbing his seventh goal of the season.

Despite the victory, Sunshine Stars are 18th on the log with 28 points, while Nasarawa United are still 12th with a point above their hosts after 24 games.


Kano Pillars 1-1 Rivers United

The Sai Masu Gida Boys held Pride of Rivers to a 1-1 draw at the Sani Abacha Stadium.

Pillars gained two away draws at Nasarawa United and Abia Warriors in their last two games and were aiming to consolidate with a win against the visitors.

However, their quest almost shattered when Chikere Osita opened the scoring for Rivers in the 12th minute but league's top scorer Junior Lokosa snatched a point in the 47th minute.

The draw saw Kano Pillars and Rivers United dropped to third and ninth on the log with 38 and 34 points respectively after 24 games.


Plateau United 2-2 Abia Warriors

The Peace Boys scored late to avoid an embarrassing outing at home as they shared the spoils with the Uchendu Warriors at the New Jos Stadium.

Prior to the game, the champions suffered two straight defeats to Rivers United and El Kanemi Warriors and were looking to avoid another slip-up at home.

Saidu Salisu's brace rescued Kennedy Boboye's side from defeat against Emmanuel Deutsch's visitors after Gambia's second-half leads from Sunday Adetunji and Samson Obi.

The draw saw Plateau crash to fourth on the log with 37 points, while Abia Warriors fell to the eighth position with 34 points after 24 games this season.