NPFL Matchday 13 Reviews: Sunshine Stars, El Kanemi Warriors swim out of relegation zone

Both sides climbed out of the bottom four places with hard-fought wins over Yobe Desert Stars and FC Ifeanyi Ubah respectively on Sunday

Katsina United 1-0 Heartland FC

The Chanji Boys are back to winning ways after they earned a narrow 1-0 win over the 10-man Naze Millionaires at the Muhammed Dikko Stadium on Sunday.

Before the encounter, Ransom Madu's men were in 14th position - two places behind the hosts as they desired to continue with their impressive away form in Katsina.

However, It was Lukman Mohammed's third-minute strike from the spot that helped Abdullahi Biffo's side edge past the visitors to secure their fifth win of the season.


Nasarawa United 2-1 Lobi Stars

The Solid Miners ended the unbeaten run of the Pride of Benue as both sides finished the tension-soaked encounter with 10 men at the Lafia City Stadium.

The hosts had fallen 1-0 to Akwa United at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium last Sunday but they anticipated a return to winning ways against the league leaders.

Nasarawa secured the lead in the fifth minute through Austine Ogunye after he converted from the spot but Najeem Olukokun leveled matter for the visitors in the 20th minute.

In the 32nd minute, Ikechukwu Nwani scored to recover Kabiru Dogo's men lead in the first half in what turned out the match winner.

The encounter, however, was overshadowed by a brawl that saw Lobi's Anthony Okpotu and Nasarawa's Mohammed Manga kicked out in the second half.

The victory moved Nasarawa United to the 11th place with 16 points from 13 games, while Lobi Stars are still league leaders with 23 points, pending the outcome of Monday's clash between Kano Pillars and Niger Tornadoes.

Abia Warriors 2-0 Wikki Tourist

The Uchendu Warriors extended their unbeaten run to three games in a row after they defeated Wikki Tourist 2-0 at the Umuahia Township Stadium.

Emmanuel Deutsch's men were still basking in their euphoria of earning their first away point this season after they secured a 1-1 draw at FC Ifeanyi Ubah last Sunday.

It was Samson Obi's second-half brace that crashed the visitors' hopes of securing their first point away from home this season as they secured their fifth win of the season.

Obi grabbed their opener for Abia Warriors in the 69th minute after he finished off Emeka Isaac's corner kick in the second half following a barren opening 45 minutes.

Nine minutes from time, the forward was also well positioned to convert from Emeka's free-kick this term to guarantee the maximum points for the hosts.

With the win, Abia Warriors climbed up to sixth with 18 points from 13 matches but Bala Nikyu's men crumbled to 16th with 16 points from 13 games.

El Kanemi Warriors 1-0 FC Ifeanyi Ubah

The Borno Army moved out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 triumph over the Anambra Warriors at the Maiduguri Township Stadium.

Going into the game, Imama Amapakabo's men were yet to record a win in their last three games since a 2-1 home win over Go Round in February - a poor run they were desperate to halt.

Ocheme Edoh's solitary strike in the 22nd minute of the first half ensured the hosts returned to winning ways, securing their first victory in four straight games.

The massive win lifts El Kanemi Warriors up to 15th with 16 points from 13 matches, while Ladan Bosso's men dropped to 17th with 15 points.

Sunshine Stars 2-1 Yobe Desert Stars

The Owena Whales coach Henry Abiodun began this reign on a winning note after they secured a comeback 2-1 win over the Desert Warriors at the Ondo Sports Complex.

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The relegation troubled hosts began the encounter on the back foot after Babatunde Salomon's early strike handed the visitors the lead in the 17th minute.

But Yahuza Bala restored parity in the 29th minute for the home side after he scored from the spot following a foul on Dayo Ojo inside Yobe Desert's box in the first half.

In the 62nd minute, Sikiru Alimi grabbed the winner after his header off Abiodun Joseph's cross ensured the Akure-based side swim out of the relegation zone.