NPFL Matchday 14 Reviews: Lobi Stars pip Rivers United to remain on top

The Pride of Benue, Bauchi Elephants and Anambra Warriors secured crucial home victories while Ikon Allah Boys continued their impressive run in Minna

Heartland 2-1 Nasarawa United

Coach Ezekiel Onyegbula began his reign in charge on a winning note as the Naze Millionaires fought back to secure a 2-1 victory over the Solid Miners in Owerri.

Before Sunday's contest, the hosts had gone four games without a win - a poor run that led to the sack of -Ramson Madu, paving way for Onyegbula's appointment.

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A brace from MacMarcel Obioha at the Dan Anyiam Stadium helped Heartland overpower Kabiri Dogo's men to earn their first win after five games.

Obioha fired the home side in front from the spot in the 35th minute before Ikechukwu Nwani levelled matters for the visitors in the 63rd minute.

While the Lafia-based side were almost looking settled for a draw, Heartland were gifted a late opportunity through an injury-time penalty and Obioha wasted no chance in converting it.

The win lifts Heartland to 17th with 16 points from 14 games, while Nasarawa United are 16th with similar points and matches.


Lobi Stars 3-2 Rivers United

The Pride of Rivers fought late to bag the maximum points as they defeated the Pride of Rivers 3-2 to open a three-point lead at the top of the Nigeria Professional Football League log.

The hosts shot ahead courtesy of Ezekiel Mba from the spot in the 19th minute but the visitors reclaimed the lead through Oche Salefu and Frederick Obomate in the 22nd and 33rd minutes.

In the second half, Austine Ogunye netted the equaliser in the 69th minute before completing his brace at the death to guarantee victory for the Makurdi-based side.

The victory sees Lobi open a three-point gap at the top with 26 points from 14 games, while Rivers are 14th with 17 points from 13 matches.


Akwa United 1-1 Abia Warriors

The Promise Keepers were held to a 1-1 draw by Uchendu Warriors at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.

Going to the encounter, the home side were targeting their third home win from four previous encounters but they were forced to their first home draw this season.

After a barren first half, Samson Obi opened the lead for the visitors in the 75th minute before Christian Pyagbara scored in the 83rd minute to rescue Abdu Maikaba's men from defeat.

The draw in Uyo saw the Umuahia based side secure their second point away from home as they extended their unbeaten run to four consecutive games.

Despite the draw, Akwa United are still second in the league log with 23 points from 12 matches, while Abia Warriors are now sixth with 19 points from 14 games.


Wikki Tourist 3-0 El Kanemi Warriors

The Bauchi Elephants returned to winning ways as they spanked their northern rivals Borno Army 3-0 at the New Jos Stadium.

The hosts were hoping to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat at Abia Warriors last Sunday against the Warriors that are unbeaten in their last three games plus a 1-0 win over FC IfeanyiUbah.

The Elephants started brightly with Umar Abba putting them in front in the 27 minute.The rampant hosts continued with their fine form in the second half as Shamma Tanze grabbed a brace in the 48th and 61st minute to complete rout.

The victory lifted Wikki to the ninth position with 19 points from 14 games, while El Kanemi dropped to 19th with 16 points from similar matches.


FC Ifeanyi Ubah 3-0 Plateau United

The Anambra Warriors ended their four-match winless run as they humbled the league champions Peace Boys 3-0 in Nnewi.

A hat-trick from Yaya Kone propelled Ladan Bosso's men back to winning ways at the expense of the disappointing Peace Boys at the Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium.

Kone gave the hosts lead in the 44th minute in the first half and added two second-half goals in the 56th and 65th minute to seal the three points for the Nnewi based side.

The win took FC Ifeanyi Ubah to 11th with 18 points from 14 matches, while Plateau are 10th with similar points from 12 games.

Kwara United 2-1 Kano Pillars

The Harmony Warriors eased their relegation fears as they came from behind to defeat the Sai Masu Gida 2-1 at the Kwara State Stadium.

Despite the hosts' desperation to return to winning ways, the visitors secured the lead through Junior Lokosa in the 28th minute in the first half.

However, Sunday Okechukwu and Lookman Binuyo were on target in the 65th and 70th minute respectively, handing new gaffer Abubakar Bala a winning start.

Despite the win, Kwara United are still rock bottom of the log with 14 points from 13 games, while Kano Pillars are third with 21 points from 14 matches.

Niger Tornadoes 1-0 Sunshine Stars

Ikon Allah Boys extended their unbeaten run to five consecutive matches as they defeated the Owena Whales 1-0 at the Bako Kontagora Stadium.

The Minna based boys were seeking to consolidate on their impressive form against a rejuvenated Henry Abiodun side who are aiming to avoid a return to the relegation zone.

It was Austin Igenepo's seventh-minute effort that Hamza Abara's men required in overcoming the Whales to secure their sixth win of the season.

The three points moved Tornadoes to fifth with 20 points from 14 games, while Sunshine fell to 18th with 16 points.

Yobe Desert Stars 1-1 Enyimba

The Damaturu based side conceded their first goal at home this season as they played out a 1-1 with People Elephants at the August 27 Stadium.

Enyimba got the first half lead courtesy of Mustapha Ibrahim in the fifth minute but Philip Auta scored from the spot in the 59th minute to help the Desert Stars escape defeat.

The draw in the thrilling encounter was the first for Desert Stars at home this season and Enyimba sixth away from home.

Despite failing to win, Yobe Desert Stars are fourth with 20 points from 13 games, while Enyimba are 12th with 18 points from 12 encounters so far.


Go Round 2-2 Enugu Rangers

Ngozi Elechi's men preserved their unbeaten home record as they came from behind to force a 2-2 draw against former champions Flying Antelopes at the Krisdera Hotel Stadium.

Having defeated Plateau United during the mid-week, the Omoku based side were seeking to earn their third win in a row but could only salvage a point against Gbenga Ogunbote's men.

The visitors opened the lead thanks to Ifeanyi George's effort in the seventh minute before the former Enyimba man added the second in the 23rd minute.

In the second half, the hosts pulled two back through Otop Okon and Chile Azu in the 62nd and 95th minutes respectively to halt the winning quest the Enugu based side.

The draw took Go Round up to 15th with 17 points from 13 matches, while Enugu Rangers are eighth with 19 points from similar games.


MFM 2-1 Katsina United

The Olukoya Boys came from behind to defeat the Chanji Boys  2-1 at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.

The Lagos based side were recovering their 6-0 humiliation in the hands of MC Alger in their Caf Champions League ouster but managed to earn a comeback win against Abdullahi Biffo's men.

The visitors gained the lead through Yashua Garba in the 37th minute in the first half, but substitute Chijioke Akuneto bagged a brace in the 49th and 67th minute to seal the victory for the hosts.

With the win, MFM are now seventh with 19 points from 12 matches, while Katsina are 13th with 17 points from 13 games.