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NPFL Matchday 24 Reviews: Nasarawa United edge Enyimba in seven goals thriller

14:22 EAT 04/06/2018
Nasarawa United 24/07/2016
Out of the 17 goals that were scored during the weekend’s top-flight matches the Solid Miners, People’s Elephant’s tie produced seven

Wikki Tourist 1-0 Kwara United

After failing to pick acquire a win from seven matches as at three weeks ago, Wikki Tourist have been able to acquire six maximum points from their last two league encounters after they pinned Kwara United 1-0 in their latest fixture played at the Zaria Road Stadium, Jos.

Ocheme Edoh who just joined the Bauchi side after only half a season with El Kanemi Warriors scored the only goal of the tie in the 11th minute for his second consecutive strike for the Giant Elephant and his third goal of the season overall.

The win lifted Bala Nikyu’s men away from the relegation zone to 14th in the league table with 29 points from 23 matches but Kwara United fell back to the drop zone as a result of the defeat. They are now 17th with 26 points from 23 fixtures.

FC Ifeanyi Ubah 0-1 MFM

FC Ifeanyi Ubah have suffered two consecutive home defeats in the league for the first time since they were formed three years ago after they were beaten again in Nnewi by MFM in a top-flight tie.

The Anambra Warriors had lost to Niger Tornadoes at the same stadium, which hitherto was a fortress, two weeks ago through a stoppage-time goal but they were the architect of their second loss against the Olukoya Boys this term.

Balogun Alade’s low shot managed to beat FC Ifeanyi Ubah goalkeeper, Drissa Bamba in the 59th minute for the visitors’ curtain raiser but lack of marksmanship including a spot kick that was fluffed by Pascal Seka in the 71st minute after a wonderful save from MFM goalkeeper, Emmanuel Nasamu ensured that the fixture ended 1-0 in favour of Fidelis Ilechukwu’s men.

It was MFM’s first away win of the season and the fourth point they have claimed off Oriental teams after they held Enugu Rangers to a goalless draw in April while the Anambra Warriors have now gone on a two-game winless streak. They had gone five games unbeaten prior to their last two matches.

Ladan Bosso inspired side have slipped to 15th in the league log with 28 points from 23 matches but the Olukoya Boys climbed two places up to now occupy 11th  with 30 points from 23 fixtures.

Heartland 1-0 Go Round

Heartland finally laid their winless streak to rest after a hard-earned 1-0 home win against Go Round at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri.

The Naze Millionaires had gone over two months without a win totaling seven matches before Zeidine Ahimeye’s effort from the penalty spot in the 76th minute changed that against The Lions from Omoku.

The downpour had threatened to force a postponement of the match but both teams agreed to go ahead with the game with the pitch not that in good condition and it prevented a free flow of the game with both teams barely managing to make the best use of the situation.

Zeidine, a Nigerien, who was making his debut for the Owerri side ensured his new team returned to winning ways at the end of the game with the decisive strike 14 minutes from time after the match officials adjudged that Abiodun Thompson was tripped in the 18-yard box by Ebuka Akobundu.  

The victory has increased Heartland’s points haul to 19 from 22 matches but they are still rooted to the bottom of the league table while Go Round have also returned to the drop zone by the virtue of the loss in Owerri. They are now 18th with 26 points from 23 games.

Rivers United 0-0 Sunshine Stars

For the third consecutive season, Sunshine Stars have been able to deny Rivers United from claiming the maximum points at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt after they held their hosts to a goalless draw in their latest league clash.

The Owena Whales under the tutelage of former coach, Duke Udi stunned the Pride of Rivers last season after they picked the three points at stake in Port Harcourt while they also captured a point at the same venue a season earlier before their latest feat under the charge of Coach Henry Abiodun.

The goalless draw earned in Port Harcourt was also the club’s first clean sheet in 14 matches (Since February 11th, 2018 when they were held to a goalless draw in Akure by Kano Pillars). The feat was however of less significant to their position in the league log as they still in the relegation zone (19th) with 25 points from 23 games while Rivers United are eighth with 33 points from 23 affairs.  It was Stanley Eguma’s men fourth home draw of the season.

Katsina United 1-0 Enugu Rangers

Katsina United held their nerves to avoid a late collapse to beat 10 men Enugu Rangers by a lone goal at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium.

Destiny Ashadi came to the rescue of the Changi Boys just like he did against Plateau United a few weeks ago when he netted what turned out to be the match-winner in the 30th minute for his seventh goal of the season.

The Flying Antelopes tried all that they could to get the equalizer but it yielded no positive result. The game was beyond them as soon as they were reduced to 10 men in the second half when Senegalese Pape Ousmane received a straight red card for excessive complaint towards the referee after the game was halted momentarily for injured Katsina United defender, Usman Barau to be attended to when the visitors were trying to initiate a counter-attack move.

Katsina United returned to the fourth spot with 36 points from 23 games because of the important three points they acquired at the expense of Rangers who slipped to 10th in the league log with 30 points from 23 fixtures.

El Kanemi Warriors 1-0 Plateau United

El Kanemi Warriors pipped Plateau United 1-0 through Sunday Anthony’s 61st-minute effort to return to grab their second win from three matches.

The Borno Army did everything possible to get the three points at stake but they were foiled at most of the time by very alert Peace Boys defenders and their goalkeeper. They lost a golden opportunity to race into the lead in the 55th minute when they were awarded a penalty kick but Michael Ohanu failed to hit the target to the disappointment of the vociferous fans that thronged the El Kanemi Sports Complex, Maiduguri.

They were not deterred by their missed chances but were spurred on to go in search of it until they were eventually rewarded in the 61st minute through the individual brilliance of Anthony. The win has taken them to 13th in the league log with 29 points from 23 matches while Plateau United went three places down to fifth from the second position with 36 points from 23 games.

Abia Warriors 0-0 Kano Pillars

Kano Pillars stretched their unbeaten run to seven matches in the league after they denied Abia Warriors from securing their third consecutive win at Umuahia Township Stadium.

Sai Masu Gida came to Umuahia without their attacking talisman, Junior Lokosa who was in the 30 men provisional squad of the Super Eagles for the Russia 2018 World Cup preparations before he was dropped but they were still able to prevent their hosts from scoring a goal throughout the duration of the game.

It was the right response expected of Pillars who just lost another of their defenders, Kalu Orji to a foreign deal and they showed that they won’t be missing him with the way they defended their goal area against the Warriors who had beaten MFM (away) and El Kanemi Warriors (home) and with the hope of adding them to the list of their victims also.

Emmanuel Deutsch side are seventh in the league table with 33 points from 23 games because of the home draw while Ibrahim Musa’s men are third with 37 points from 23 fixtures.

Lobi Stars 3-0 Yobe Desert Stars

Lobi Stars have extended their lead at the top of the league table to five points even with a game at hand after they whitewashed Yobe Desert Stars 3-0 at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi.

The Pride of Benue raced to a 2-0 lead going into the interval through the goals of David Tyavkase and Austin Ogunye in the third and 41st minutes but they were reduced to 10 men immediately the referee blew the halftime whistle after Samad Kadiri was given a straight red card for elbowing Yobe Stars’ Babatunde Solomon in an off the ball incidence.

Solomon Ogbeide’s side were not troubled by their one-man disadvantage and instead of defending the two-goal cushion they still went in search of more goals and their patience was rewarded five minutes from time when Cletus Itodo found the back of the net for the hosts’ third goal of the game.  

They are the runaway leaders of the league with 43 points from 22 games while Yobe Stars are 16th with 28 points from 23 matches.

Nasarawa United 4-3 Enyimba

It was goal fest at the Lafia Township Stadium after Nasarawa United resisted the last minute onslaught of Enyimba to secure a 4-3 win.

Former player of the Solid Miners, Abdulrahman Bashir came back to haunt his ex-club after he handed the People’s Elephant a reprieve with the curtain raiser in the 26th minute but Nasarawa United leveled the proceeding three minutes later through Emmanuel Makama who slotted the rebound calmly despite having his initial effort from the spot saved by Theophilus Afelokhai.

Further goals by Nojeem Olukokun and Zinte Udeh in the 36th and 45th minutes ensured that Nasarawa United were ahead 3-1 at halftime but this didn’t give a premonition of what was to come in the second half.

Enyimba reduced the tally three minutes into the second half when Chinedu Udeagha scored a wonder goal but Kabiru Dogo’s men kept their two goals lead intact when Makama converted another spot kick in the 79th minute. The People’s Elephant replied with another goal a minute later through Freedom Omofoman to bring the tie to a frenetic end in Lafia.