As things happened in the NPFL on Matchday 22

By George Akpayen

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Photo: LMC Media
Photo: LMC Media

The matchdays continue to thin out in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NFPL) after the games on Sunday and Monday which produced 15 goals in eight matches with Niger Tornadoes recording a last-gasp winner at FC Ifeanyiubah.

Table-toppers Lobi Stars got the work done over Enugu Rangers with one genius strike in the biggest game of the matchweek while Kwara United and Wikki Tourists gave themselves lifeline in their bids for survival. Here is a recap of all that happened in the past matchday.

FC Ifeanyiubah 1-2 Niger Tornadoes

Bereaved Tornadoes who are mourning the death of their left-back Hussaini Isah headed to Nnewi to face FC Ifeanyiubah with the odds against them after failing to win in their last two games including a 3-0 battering at MFM FC. Mubarak Ejiogu scored after 72 minutes to put Tornadoes in front before Godwin Obaje levelled the scores from the spot on 90. Inside added time, Bashir Usman rifled in the winner to send Tornadoes into fourth place on the standings with 34 points.

Wikki Tourists 3-1 Yobe Desert Stars

Wikki showed intent from the outset and were three goals up by the 80th minutes though Samuel Agba would blame himself or failing to convert from the spot to give Yobe Stars a fighting chance. Nasiru Jibrin, Ocheme Edoh, Elijah Ani all scored for Wikki before Agba’s strike on the cusp of full-time proved too little, too late.

Lobi Stars 1-0 Enugu Rangers

At times they say you do not need too many opportunities to win a football game, or even carve your opponents open every now and then. Lobi just needed a moment of brilliance from last season’s top scorer Anthony Okpotu. The striker simply curled a 25-yard freekick past Rangers goalkeeper Seidu Mutawakilu for the winner on 64 minutes to help his side open a four-point lead at the top of the log.

Katsina United 1-0 Sunshine Stars

Nerves surely will be jangling in Akure as this loss by Sunshine Stars means they slip into the bottom-two and two points off safety. It was always going to be difficult for the Akure club to nick something at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium where Katsina United have now won 10 games on the spin. This time they won 1-0 through Tasiu Lawal’s 61st minute goal off Joshua Agboola’s assist.

Nasarawa United 0-0 Kano Pillars

Without their talismanic forward and the league’s leading scorer Junior Lokosa, Kano Pillars head coach Ibrahim Musa settled for a front two of Nyima Nwagua and Adamu Hassan. It was a lively goalless draw from which Pillars move into second place with 36 points while Nasarawa United occupy 14th place.

Rivers United 1-0 Plateau United

Brawl. Feisty. Rough and tumble. Scrappy. Physical. You name it. Both teams had a go at each other and things even threatened to spill over in added time of the first period before referee Jonathan Zakaria singled out the ringleaders in the skirmish. He showed straight red cards to Plateau United’s Emma Igho James and Chigozie Ihunda. That did not change the complexion of the result as Rivers United edge past the champions 1-0 thanks to Chikere Osita’s 16th minute strike.

Kwara United 3-1 MFM FC

MFM’s woes on the road continued in the division in Ilorin. Segun Alebiosu set things rolling with a fine finish for Kwara United and when Sikiru Olatunbosun equalized, there were hopes that MFM could pull off a result. However, a goal each by Stephen Alfred and Sunday Odudu in the second half put the game to bed and helped Kwara United put life into their race for survival.

Abia Warriors 1-0 El-Kanemi Warriors

This was a game played in fragments — El-Kanemi had their moments with John Lazarus and Sani Abbani in the buildup of things. The former’s effort in the first half hit the upright and Abbani blew a sitter. As usual one of Abia Warriors’ potent strike force Samson Obi stepped up to the plate four minutes into the restart to score what turned out to be the winner.

© The Predictor NG

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