Lobi keep top spot, as strugglers battle to draw

By George Akpayen

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Photo: LMC Media
Photo: LMC Media

Lobi Stars continued to maintain their place at the summit of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) after grinding out a 1-1 draw at Abia Warriors on Wednesday.

The table-toppers had hardly settled into the game at the Umuahia Township Stadium when Ndifreke Effiong turned in the ball after just 11 seconds to give Abia Warriors an early.

Samad Kadiri and Austin Ogunye had opportunities to level matters for Lobi Stars but failed to apply the deserved finish.

Chinda Kaka got the marching orders five minutes into the restart and Lobi did not allow the numerical disadvantage affect them as they put in spirited display.

Lobi needed more than an hour to haul themselves back into the contest. Their goal came from an unlikely source as defender Umar Zango fired in a shot from all of 40 yards which Abia Warriors goalkeeper Agbor Ekoi failed to deal with.

Solomon Ogbeide’s men remain three points clear at top of the NPFL standings with Kano Pillars on their tails.

After a 0-0 first half at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano Pillars were rampant in the second as they dispatched FC Ifeanyiubah 4-0. Junior Lokosa scored twice to take his total to 14 goals in 14 matches while Nyima Nwagua and Awalu Ali were the other goalscorers.

Impressive midfielder Alassan provided two assists of the four goals scored by Kano Pillars who are now second with 24 points.

Struggling sides Sunshine Stars and Kwara United shared the points after a 2-2 draw at the Akure Stadium. Stephen Alfred scored on 20 minutes for Kwara United before Sunday Emmanuel netted twice from freekicks.

Chinedu Sunday would however have the final say in the game when he headed in the ball with 18 minutes to time. Sunday’s goal sealed a point for Kwara United and ensured Abubakar Bala continues his reign in charge undefeated after two matches.

Two first half goals by Ibrahim Ajani set the tone for Rangers to run out 3-0 winners over Yobe Desert Stars at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu. Bright Silas scored the third late in the game with Ajani providing the assist. Rangers are now in fourth place with 22 points.

Rivers United enjoyed a routine 2-0 win over Heartland. The goals were scored by former Heartland men Emeka Ogbugh and Koffi Roland on 50 and 68 minutes respectively.

At the Lafia City Stadium, Nasarawa United edged past Katsina United 2-1. All three goals were scored by Nasarawa United. Former 3SC striker Najeem Olukokun helped himself to a brace while Abdulbasit Shittu’s own goal temporarily restored parity for Katsina United.

The win ensures Nasarawa United climb up the table to 12th and three points better than the drop zone.

© The Predictor NG

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