Lobi fall in Lafia, El-Kanemi, Sunshine Stars out of drop zone

By George Akpayen

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Photo: LMC Media
Photo: LMC Media

Lobi Stars failed to extend their lead at the top of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) beyond three points after a 2-1 defeat at Nasarawa United on Sunday while wins for El-Kanemi Warriors and Sunshine Stars propelled them out of the bottom-four

Solomon Ogbeide’s men were aiming to stretch their unbeaten run to four matches and they got off to a flyer when Mannir Ubale was fouled in Nasarawa United’s box and referee Paul Umuago had their easiest task of pointing to the spot.

Five minutes into the contest, Lobi were 1-0 up at a venue where they have hardly found joy in recent seasons as Austine Ogunye converted past Suraj Ayeleso.

Lobi’s lead lasted only 15 minutes as Najeem Olukokun fired Nasarawa United back into the contest after good work by Ikechukwu Nwani to set him up.

Nwani before the break headed in Kabiru Balogun’s corner kick and that proved to be winner. Lobi stay top with 23 points, three more than Kano Pillars who play hosts to Niger Tornadoes on Monday.

No further goals in the second period but it had high drama as Lobi forward and last season’s top scorer Anthony Okpotu and Nasarawa United’s Manga Mohammed were sent off for an altercation.

Sunshine Stars had to come back from a goal down to defeat Yobe Desert Stars 2-1 at the Akure Stadium. Goals by Yahuza Bala and substitute Sikiru Alimi made Babatunde Solomon’s earlier strike for Yobe Stars inefficient to earn Mohammed Baba Ganaru’s men any kind of impressive result.

It was Sunshine Stars that benefited as they moved out of the bottom-four.

Also, El-Kanemi climbed out of the drop with a slim 1-0 success over FC Ifeanyiubah in Maiduguri. Ocheme Edoh’s first half goal on 22 minutes was enough to edge past the Anambra Warriors. The win also extended El-Kanemi’s unbeaten sequence at home to 39 matches since a 3-1 home defeat to Akwa United on March 30, 2016.

Abia Warriors pair of Samson Obi and Emeka Isaac combined to wreak Wikki Tourists. Obi scored all two goals from Isaac’s two assists as Abia Warriors eased past Wikki at the Umuahia Township Stadium. Abia Warriors leading scorer Ndifreke Effiong missed the chance to increase his tally when he missed a spot kick on six minutes.

A third minute goal from a spot kick by Lukman Mohammed was all Katsina United needed to defeat Heartland 1-0. Heartland also had to play the final 40 minutes with 10 men after Abiodun Thompson was sent off for a second offence.

© The Predictor

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