Akwa United close in on NPFL title with Jigawa Golden Stars win

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Akwa United are on the verge of securing the Nigeria Professional Football League title for the first time in their history after defeating Jigawa Golden Stars 3-0 on Sunday evening.

Goals from Friday Ubong, Charles Atshimene and Wisdom Fernandon handed the Promise Keepers victory over the visitors at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.

Unbeaten in their last two league outings, Kennedy Boboye’s team welcomed Gilbert Opana’s men to Uyo with the ambition of extending their run of form.

In the keenly contested affair, the hosts had to wait until the closing stages of the first half to take the lead through Ubong.

The hard-fighting visitors entered the second half full of hope, but they were pegged back in the 52nd minute courtesy of Atshimene’s effort.

A minute prior to full-time, substitute Fernandon – who replaced Ikechukwu Nwani in the 65th minute – sealed the win with a cool finish.

With this result, Boboye’s team are now on the cusp of emerging as Nigerian kings - needing three points more to be certain of securing the trophy, with three games left.

For second-placed Nasarawa United, they defeated Sunshine Stars 4-0 at the Lafia Township Stadium.

The 18-year-old Silas Nwankwo was the star of the game as he found the net twice against his former team.

Still basking in the euphoria of their 1-0 Aiteo Cup quarter-final triumph over Kano Pillars, Owena Whales conceded first in the 11th minute as Nwankwo Saliu Suleiman opened the scoring.

Six minutes later, the striker completed his brace as the Akure-based outfit were made to pay for some poor defending. That took his tally of the 2020-21 season to 18 goals.

Aliyu Abdullah made it three for Nasarawa United in the 23rd minute before Chigozi Obasi made it four in the 39th minute of the goal-laden first half.

Deji Ayeni’s team put up an improved performance in the second half, however, that could not prevent them from returning home with heads bowed low.

While Bala Nikyu’s Nasarawa United would be hoping to beat Akwa United to the league title, Sunshine Stars dropped into the relegation zone having accrued 35 points from 38 matches.

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Elsewhere, Kano Pillars bounced back from their disappointing 2-0 lose at Enugu Rangers by beating Abia Warriors 1-0 with Rabiu Ali’s second-half penalty settling the encounter.
 

NPFL RESULTS IN FULL

Adamawa United 1 - 1 Enugu Rangers
Akwa United 3 - 0 Jigawa Golden Stars
Enyimba 2 - 1 MFM FC
Heartland 0 - 0 Kwara United
Kano Pillars 1 - 0 Abia Warriors
Katsina United 2 - 0 Dakkada FC
Nasarawa United 4 - 0 Sunshine Stars
Plateau United 0 - 0 Lobi Stars
Rivers United FC 2 - 0 Ifeanyi Ubah United
Warri Wolves FC 1 - 0 Wikki Tourist