Plateau United and MFM FC continue to set the pace early in the season in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) as both teams posted good results on Sunday. Table-topping Plateau United played out a scoreless draw at Nasarawa United in a Middle Belt derby at the Lafia City Stadium though the host team will be pained by the fact that they failed to take their scoring chances.
Hassan Adamu, Thomas Zenke, Buhari Jafar and Douglas Achiv were all guilty of missing good opportunities to breach Plateau United’s backline. MFM FC, on the other hand, defeated Sunshine Stars 1-0 at the Akure Stadium through Stephen Odey’s second-half strike. The win at Sunshine Stars means MFM, who now have 13 points, have closed the gap on Plateau United at the top to one point.
It was, however, a matchday that produced a slow start in all 10 games as just two goals were scored in the 45 minutes, both in the game between 3SC and Rivers United. Ibadan club 3SC brought the unbeaten run of Rivers United to an end with a 2-1 win. Sunday Faleye scored one and provided the other for Jide Apena while Lukman Mohammed’s goal for Rivers United sandwiched those of the Oluyole Warriors.
Kano Pillars had to wait till stoppage time before they could break a resilient ABS FC. Adamu Mohammed came off the bench to score the winner from Rabiu Ali’s assist in the third minute of added time of the second half. ABS have never beaten Pillars in a league game. Second-half goals from Kingsley Eduwo and Solomon Kwambe were enough to see Lobi Stars claim a third win of the season. They defeated Wikki Tourists 2-0. Katsina United, despite the resignation of their head coach Bala Nikyu last week, braved all odds to play to a 1-1 draw at Niger Tornadoes. Sani Nasiru’s goal for Katsina United from the spot was cancelled by Ifeanyi Okoye’s goal, also from a penalty.
The Changi Boys finished the last 25 minutes of the match at Tornadoes with ten men after Chinedu Udechukwu was sent off for a second yellow card. Akwa United left it late at the Nest of Champions to defeat Remo Stars one-nil to claim their first win of the season. Musa Newman made no mistake by putting the ball in the net in the 84th minute after good work from Moses Ebiye. Seven-time champions Enyimba were 15 minutes away from becoming the first team in the league to avoid defeat in Maiduguri since El-Kanemi Warriors returned to the northeast town in April. But Hussaini Bata’s goal helped El-Kanemi to a 1-0 win.
Sunday Adetunji, making his debut for Abia Warriors against Gombe United, scored the winner with six minutes to time as the Umuahia club returned to winning ways after three matches without a win. Abia Warriors, with the win, have moved into third place with 10 points, four behind leaders Plateau United. Federation Cup holders FC Ifeanyiubah needed a spot kick to win in the southeast derby against champions Enugu Rangers. Prince Aggreh scored the penalty on 75 minutes after Rangers goalkeeper Nana Bonsu had saved a first-half stoppage-time spot kick from Pascal Seka, reports Supersport.Com. Rangers ended the game with 10 men when Senegal defender Ousmane Pape Sane got his marching orders for a second bookable offence in the 86th minute.