NPFL Day Three Round Up: Abia Warriors shock Heartland in Owerri

Kennedy Boboye's men shocked the Naze Warriors before their home fans, while Ikorodu United secured their first victory of the season

Heartland FC 0-1 Abia Warriors 

Kennedy Boboye led Abia Warriors to a 1-0 victory Heartland at the Dan Anyiam Stadium on Sunday.

A second-half goal by Michael Olaha was enough for the Umuahia-based side to bag the full three points and earned the traditional Oriental bragging rights.

Substitute Olaha was once again the savior for the away side as he repeated his heroics like he did against El-Kanemi Warriors in the midweek.

In the 12th minute, Heartland nearly scored through Roland Koffi but the striker drove his effort wide from Olayeni Fashina's cut-back.

Fortune Omoniwari almost broke the deadlock as the hosts desperately searched for the first goal of the match.

Omoniwari, Julius Ubido and Fashina were guilty of bad misses as the first half ended goalless in Owerri.

The second stanza saw the Naze Millionaires dominating the proceedings but there was only a winner which was Abia Warriors.

The innovative Ndifreke Effiong forced Emmanuel Iwu to a point blank save in the 48th minute.

On the hour mark, Emeka Atuloma hit an ambitious rocket to goal and goalkeeper John Gaadi wasn't fooled.

Substitute Olaha became a menace to the Heartland defence and his hunger was evident as his shot hit the side of the net in the 66th minute.

Three minutes after, he expertly converted a free kick to the back of the net to stun the hosts.

Despite desperate moves by Heartland to restore parity there was no way out as the Emmanuel Olowo led defence line held firm to the three maximum points.

Ikorodu United 1-0 Lobi Stars 

Ikorodu  United secured a 1-0 win over Lobi Stars at the Onikan Stadium on Sunday.

Kabir Balogun scored the only goal of the game.

It was the first league win for Ikorodu United who drew their first match against Abia Warriors and have a match in hand.

The Oga Boys have now amassed four points, three points below league leaders Abia Warriors. While, Lobi Stars have six points from a possible nine.

Kano Pillars 2-1 Wikki Tourists 

Prince Aggrey and Ifeanyi Matthew inspired Kano Pillars to a 2-1 win over Wikki Tourists at the Sani Abacha Stadium on Sunday. 

Baba Ganaru's wards returned home after the setback of Kelvin Itoya's late strike in Warri during the week and won against their Northern brothers.

Pillars dominated with Rabiu Ali the man initiating most of their positive moves.

They broke the deadlock when Aggrey headed home Ali's corner kick.

Wikki Tourists briefly rallied after falling behind but dismal defending combined with attacking desire from Matthew allowed the Nigerian international to settle a quality contest before the hour.

Matthew was spotted by Gambo and the midfielder poked home beyond Emeka Nwabuku in goal for the Abdul Maikaba managed side.

In the 68th minute, Wikki Tourists were awarded a spot-kick due to an an infringement in Pillars box.

Mubarak Umar made no mistake from the spot to set up a nervy final 20 minutes to the match.

Pillars held on to the victory and increased their points haul to six from three games.

Plateau United 2-1 Warri Wolves

Plateau United scrapped a slim 2-1 win against visiting Warri Wolves in Week Three of the Nigeria Professional Football League.

The home team filed out against the Seasiders knowing that securing maximum points is a must.

And they came close to opening scoring in the first half, asking all the questions.

However,  at the end of the first 45 minutes it was goalless due to Dele Ajiboye's brilliant saves.

 The Jos-based continued from where they left off in the first half, but with no goal to reward the effort.

The hosts eventually got the breakthrough they longed for when Goodluck Onomado put the ball in his own net.

But in a dramatic turn of events, Wolves drew level through King Osanga.

The two teams searched for the winner but it was James Nuhu who struck for the hosts. Meanwhile, It was a denting blow to Wolves as they failed to mount a comeback.

Enugu Rangers 2-1 Niger Tornadoes 

Enugu Rangers were pushed all the way by Niger Tornadoes but the top-flight match ended 2-1 in favour of the Flying Antelopes.

Godwin Aguda and Osas Okoro scored both goals for Rangers, both in the first stanza.

The Lolo Boys pulled a goal back through enterprising substitute Lanre Ferinyaro.

Rivers United 2-0 FC Ifeanyi Uba

Rivers United registered their second victory of the season with a 2-0 win over FC Ifeanyi Ubah on Sunday.

The homers began the game in frantic fashion, creating some descent goal scoring opportunities right from the blast of referee's whistle.

Ali Chinwendu came close to opening the scoring just after the 10th minute mark, the chance was spurned.

The hosts went on to boss the game with the Anambra Warriors unable to get a hold of the ball and were left doing all the chasing.

Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma however made an enforced substitution with Odinga Odinga replacing the injured Chinwendu in the 38th minute.

The Pride of Rivers finally got the curtain raiser they deserved in the dying moments of the first half.

Chigozie Ihunda put the hosts in front after goalkeeper Edwin Nwakamma made a meal out of the former's effort.

The hosts went into the locker room with a goal advantage.

Rivers United were however not as profligate as they were in their 2-1 loss to MFM FC.

Fred Obomate doubled the advantage in the 65th minute to set the Yakubu Gowon Stadium alight once again.

The home side held on from there to claim their second win of the season much to the satisfaction of the cheering fans.