By Osondu Ngude

Sunshine Stars coach Duke Udi has not minced words in stating that his mission at the Akure club still remains to help them to beat drop from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at the end of this season.

Udi's men saw their stocks rise in midweek when they stunned one of the big hitters Rivers United at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt through Ezekiel Thompson's well-taken goal.

The Akure Gunners trainer has now promised that his team will continue to fight on till the last day of the season in order to avoid being relegated.

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One of Remo Stars young players Chisom Kenneth has expressed delight at making his first bow at the senior level for his club in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) this season, and is now raring to get more time as a first-team player.

The 17-year-old featured in his club's 1-1 draw with Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) at the Gateway International Stadium in Sagamu on Wednesday.

“It is amazing, a great feeling,” Kenneth told Remo Stars Media. “I’m delighted to have been able to make my debut and contribute my quota to the draw we played on Wednesday in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

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By Clement Nwankpa Jr

Matchday 30 recorded some interesting results as the battle for the title, continental slots and survival got fiercer. Here are 10 things we learnt...

(1) FOR ABS FC, RELEGATION BATTLE IS REAL
ABS' dip in form and fortunes is amazing. The Saraki Boys had started the season on a high maintaining a top-four place for a long while. Not many would have predicted they would be in this precarious situation. But after picking one in the last nine points, they are now in 18th place and face the threat of heading back to NNL. They lost 0-1 to Wikki, who in contrast, has a better run since the second stanza. ABS are in a position Wikki languished for the better part of the first stanza.

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•Club to pay Amakapabo over N16.7m in compensation
•LMC orders coach to return Rangers properties

Rangers International FC and the club Secretary, Elder Joseph Onwukwe has been charged with infractions of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Rules and Framework in the course of mediation proceedings in the dispute between the club and its former coach, Imama Amapakabo.

The League Management Company (LMC) has subsequently levied sanctions on the club and the official with Rangers fined N5m and Onwukwe banned from all NPFL activities for a period of one year.

The LMC also directed Rangers to pay the sacked Coach various sums including N14,560,000 representing his salaries for April to October 2017 and compensation for wrongful termination, N1,600,000 representing his salary for November and December 2016, N600,000 which represents arrears of allowances and bonuses and $725 which is international travel allowance owed Amapakabo.

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By Fred Edoreh

Ekene Awazie's 92nd minute equalising header for Remo Stars deflated the cheers of Shooting Stars who had stormed Sagamu for the NPFL Matchday 30 encounter in search of a crucial away win to steer the club safe from relegation.

For Awazie, it was a befitting reception for his girlfriend who travelled down from Lagos to Sagamu (a 45-minute drive) for the first time to watch him at work.

An euphoric Awazie had ran up the terraces to celebrate the goal with his fiancée, Victoria.

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By Fisayo Dairo

It is not often times in the Nigeria Professional Football League you see an away side so disappointed despite getting a point at a difficult ground.

However, Akwa United coach Abdu Maikaba and his reliable defender Emmanuel Ariwa in separate chats to npfl.ng echoed each other's disappointment at not getting the maximum points against Abia Warriors in a Matchday 30 fixture decided at the Umuahia Township Stadium on Wednesday.

Wednesday's point ensured that the Promise Keepers retained their third spot on the league log - the final continental spot - with eight matchdays left to play although United have a game in hand against Rivers United next Wednesday.

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By Promise Etim

Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions Rangers brightened their chances of staying in the top flight next season, with a hard fought 2-0 win over second-placed MFM of Lagos at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, in a game that was completed over two days.

Rangers took the lead earlier on Wednesday, courtesy of Chiamaka Madu in the 15th minute, before sealing the victory early Thursday through a 46th minute penalty converted by Ifeanyi George.

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By Wale Mustapha

Top of the table Plateau United were the luckier side on a day their opponents, FC Ifeamyiubah dominated play but could not make good of their free-flowing passes.

Plateau United won 1-0 to establish again their five-point lead over second placed MFM FC, whose game in Enugu against Rangers was aborted by heavy downpour.

Coaches on both sides had different perspectives to the outcome with Yaw Preko of FC Ifeanyiubah insisting the result was not a true reflection of the exchanges on the pitch. For Kennedy Boboye, whose side got a favourable result, the outcome was satisfactory.

An apparently relieved Boboye admitted that it was a tough challenge from the Federation Cup champions but took solace in the fact that the win has further renewed his side's ambition to end the season in pole position.

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By Clement Nwankpa Jr

A brace by Adamu Hassan sufficed for Nasarawa United to beat El-Kanemi 2-1 at the Lafia City Stadium but the stand-out performer was Thomas Zenke.

Zenke left nobody in doubt as to his deserved invitation to the CHAN Eagles being the chief tormentor as the hosts created chance upon chance but, characteristically, converted few.

Nasarawa United's poor showing in front of goal is now a source of worry to coach Kabiru Dogo, who agreed his team's dominance, particularly in the earlier minutes, wasn't reflected on the scoreline.

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By Uchenna Iyoke

Usule Martins' 36th minute header was all Katsina United needed to subdue Kano Pillars in a highly contested Matchday 30 Nigeria Professional Football League game decided at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium.

Destiny Ashadi made the first attempt as early as the second minute and kept on with skilful passes which eventually committed Jamiu Alimi into being cautioned by the referee. Pillars midfielder Rabiu Ali made his presence felt thereafter as his solo effort went wide off the mark.

The intensity of the match increased with the striking trio of Katsina United's Usule Martins, Chinedu Udechukwu and Tasiu Lawal forcing goalkeeper David Obiazo into a series of saves.

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