MFM end Kano Pillars unbeaten run in 3-1 win as Lobi reclaim top spot
By Fisayo Dairo
What is increasingly becoming every matchday exchange of baton at the top of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) log continued on Sunday when Lobi Stars claimed a fairly comfortable 2-1 win over Wikki Tourists in Makurdi.
Gbenga Ogunbote’s men thus toppled Plateau United who earned a creditable 0-0 draw at Dakkada FC on Saturday.
The biggest story of Sunday was however that of unfancied MFM’s 3-1 win over Kano Pillars to end Ibrahim Musa Jugunu side’s 13-game unbeaten run and deny them the chance of going into the record books.
Here though are the details:
Enyimba 2-1 Abia Warriors
In-form midfielder Austin Oladapo gave Enyimba the lead in this feisty Abia Derby in first half stoppage time with a brilliant free kick but new signing Okon Otop levelled for Warriors after a sumptuous assist by Lukman Bello in the 58th minute.
Another player in a rich vein of form Stanley Dimgba however decided the game with his 76th minute strike to give Fatai Osho his first league win in charge of Enyimba.
Katsina United 2-1 Wolves
Joseph Atule gave Henry Makinwa’s side the lead on the dot of half time before old warhorse Gambo Muhammad doubled the lead with an excellent strike ten minutes after the break.
Wolves’ go-to man Charles Atshimene halved the deficit with a 71st minute penalty but that was the much Evans Ogenyi side could muster in Katsina.
Akwa United 0-0 Rangers
180 minutes of top flight action in Uyo this weekend ended without a single goal as Rangers extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to eight games.
Rangers coach Salisu Yusuf deployed a 3-5-2 formation which stifled their hosts for most period in the game although they still had goalkeeper Opubo Japhet to thank with two impressive saves in the second half.
Akwa United’s local rivals Dakkada FC had played out a 0-0 draw on the same turf twenty four hours earlier.
Sunshine Stars 2-0 FC Ifeanyiubah
Midfielders Jide Fatokun and Anthony Omaka scored within the opening half an hour as Sunshine Stars raced to a two-goal lead in Akure.
Adamawa United 1-0 Heartland
After a goalless first half, Yakubu Adam however gave Adamawa United a major lifeline in their battle against relegation when he poked home beyond Ikechukwu Ezenwa in the 64th minute.
The win was enough to give Adamawa temporary respite as they moved off the foot of the table, replaced by Nasarawa United.
MFM FC 3-1 Kano Pillars
Pillars got in front in Agege in fortuitous fashion. Midfielder Auwalu Ali Malam saw his 34th minute corner kick bizarrely dropped into his own net by goalkeeper Folarin Abayomi.
Striker Kabiru Adewole Adeniji equalised for MFM in the 52nd minute after good work by Ikechukwu Chimezie before substitute Clement Ogwu netted an exceptional brace to end Sai Masu Gida’s 13-game unbeaten run and end their own five games winless run.
Rivers United 1-0 Kwara United
Hosts, Rivers United were frustrated for most periods but got the breakthrough after the hour mark when Cletus Emotan was tripped inside the box. Ivorian left back Konan N’gouan converted the kick to give United the slender victory.
Lobi Stars 2-1 Wikki Tourists
Utibe Arit gave the home side the lead in the 10th minute when he glanced Samad Kadri’s cross beyond Pius Ibrahim before Austin Ogunye doubled the lead with a penalty seven minutes before the break.
Nasir Jubril pulled one back in added time but it didn’t stop Lobi claiming all three points to go top of the table. The game finished with Wikki’s Yinka Onaolapo being sent off for a second booking on his debut for the Bauchi club.
Jigawa Golden Stars 1-0 Nasarawa United
Club’s poster boy Ali Kalla Maro shot his side in front on the dot of half time with a piece of magic. The winger picked up the ball in the opponent’s half, waltzed through the defence line before firing home.