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NPFL Matchday Two Review: Heartland, Go Round secure important victories

5:31 PM GMT+8 17/01/2019
Nnamdi Egbujor, Giscard Tchato - MFM vs. Heartland
The Naze Millionaires and the Omoku Lions secured emphatic victories in some of the topflight games decided at midweek across Nigeria

Abia Warriors 1-2 Go Round

The Warriors have suffered their second home loss of the season after they were pipped 2-1 at home by ambitious Lions of Omoku at the Umuahia Township Stadium on Wednesday in one of the matchdays two games of the season.

Abia Warriors who unveiled Henry Makinwa barely a week before the start of the season were beaten 1-0 in Lafia against Nasarawa United and their fans who thronged the stadium had expected a fight-back against lightweight Go Round who are only spending their second season in the top flight but they left home disappointedly.

Go Round’s Sadiq Ololade surprised the Umuahia fans when he raced his side into the lead in the 37th minute against the run of play and they held to the lead until the end of the first half. Abia Warriors came back strongly in the second half and they were rewarded with the equaliser from the penalty spot in the 69th minute after an infringement in the Go Round vital area but the visitors struck against two minutes after the regulation time through Emmanuel Ugwu to cart away the three points.

They caught their hosts on the counter after they poured forward in search of the winning goal without recourse to properly guarding their goal area to ensure that Go Round gained the three points in their first game of the season after what would have been their first game against Kada City was postponed to a later date.

Go Round will strive to make it back to back win when they host FC IfeanyiUbah in Omoku on Sunday while Abia Warriors must dust off their defeat to stay competitive when they travel to Damaturu to tackle Yobe Desert Stars.

                                                       

FC IfeanyiUbah 1-0 Nasarawa United

Who says the Anambra Warriors are in crisis and are among the candidates for the drop at the end of the season? The Uche Okagbue led side are on top of the Group B league table with four points from two games after the last gasp goal gave them the three points at home to Nasarawa United.

The Nnewi side lost most of their players to other topflight clubs and had to rely on young players and a few from those from last season that elected to respect their contract and stay put. They are undefeated after two games after starting the season with an away draw against Plateau United in Jos before the 1-0 win over the Solid Miners.

It was as if the game was headed for another frustrating home draw before Chijioke Alaekwe who was named the team’s skipper at the start of the season nicked the winning goal in the injury time of the second half.

The Anambra Warriors will visit Omoku to face Go Round who just won at away against Abia Warriors while Nasarawa United are at home to Heartland who enjoyed a stellar 3-0 home win over Plateau United. Both games hold this Sunday in Omoku and Lafia respectively.

 

MFM 2-0 Kwara United

The Olukoya Boys showed they were not perturbed by their 2-0 away loss to Enyimba after they beat the Harmony Boys 2-0 at the Agege Township Stadium, Lagos on Wednesday.

MFM were dominated by the People’s Elephant and were fortunate to have left Aba with just two goals they conceded but they were in a superb performance against Kwara United who had visited Lagos with a view to recouping the two points they lost at home to Sunshine Stars who held them to a 1-1 draw last weekend.

In a contrast situation, Segun Alebiosu whose duty was to get the goals for the Ilorin side ended them scoring against his own team three minutes after the restart of the second half to put the Olukoya Boys in the lead before Adeniji Kabiru doubled the advantage in the 75th minute to hand the crucial three points to MFM.

MFM will be on standby with their weekend foes, Lobi Stars involved in a continental fixture against ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’ Ivoire in the Group Stage of the Caf Champions League while Kwara United will be at home to Enyimba in a game they must strive to win to still have the confidence of their fans and supporters.
 

Niger Tornadoes 1-1 Rivers United

The Ikon Allah Boys have started the current season almost the same way they started last season after they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by the Pride of Rivers at the Bako Kotangora Stadium, Minna on Wednesday.

The game was goalless in the first half but it came alive in the second half when Eric Frimpong fired home the curtain raiser in the 66th minute to the delight of the fans at the stadium but before they could start sitting on the lone goal lead Rivers United’s Ossy Martins found a way to level proceedings three minutes later and it was the way the game ended.

Both teams were involved in their first game of the season on Wednesday after Enugu Rangers and Remo Stars that should be their opponents in that order were excused from their games because of different reasons and they made the fixture to be the talking point in Minna even after it had ended.

Tornadoes will make a short trip to Bauchi to face Wikki Tourists while Rivers United will be at home to Katsina United who are yet to recover from the kidnap of their head coach, Abdullahi Biffo.
 

Heartland 3-0 Plateau United

The Naze Millionaires for the first time since their return to the top flight last season scored three goals in a match after they thrashed 2017 league champions 3-0 at the Okigwe Township Stadium on Wednesday.

Both teams put up very beautiful football to behold throughout the encounter but the visitors will rue their inability to convert some chances that came their way in the first half before their hosts turned on the heat in the second half.

Plateau United were weakened in the injury time of the first half when Gabriel Wassa was given the marching order for a second bookable offence and they were unable to recover from that episode for the rest of the game.

Heartland scored the first goal through Efe Yarhere in the 60th minute after a good diagonal pass from Chidiebere Ajoku before two further goals from Chinonso Okonkwo in the 79th and 87th minutes handed them their first win of the season.

The Naze Millionaires will be guests of Nasarawa United on Sunday while Plateau United who have been banished to Ilorin for their next three home matches will host El Kanemi Warriors in search of their first win of the season.