New boys Akwa Starlets upset Rangers, as Plateau United stay top
By Andrew Randa
Matchday 5 served up some interesting ties as Plateau United consolidated their hold at the top of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) while Nasarawa United and Kano Pillars remain the only teams without a win this season.
The surprise result from the weekend came from Enugu where newly-promoted Akwa Starlets stunned home side Rangers running away with a 2-0 win.
The defeat didn’t sit well with the management of Rangers as they promptly suspended coach Benedict Ugwu.
Goals by Femi Ajayi and Isaac George condemned Rangers to their third loss of the season which has left them 15th on the 20-team log.
Rivers United were also away winners as they defeated Warri Wolves 1-0 at the Warri Township Stadium. Stephen Gopey got the winner in the 38th minute for the Port-Harcourt side.
Plateau United continued their brilliant start to the season with another impressive away win in Asaba to Delta Force.
The 2017 champions fell behind in the 38th minute through a Kazie Enyinnaya penalty but rallied back to equalise six minutes later through Uche Onwuasoanya.
Further goals from Michael Ibeh and Mustapha Ibrahim earned Plateau United all three points.
In Kano, it ended goalless as nothing could separate Kano Pillars and Wikki Tourists. The results leave Pillars deep in relegation waters.
Katsina United got the better of their visitors with a comfortable 2-0 win at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium.
Tasiu Lawal, with his fourth goal of the season and veteran Gambo Muhammad scored late into the game to give Katsina United their second win of the season.
Victor Mbaoma was the hero of the day in Aba as his brace secured all the points for Enyimba.
The former Remo Stars striker scored in the 20th and 26th minute to give Enyimba a morale-boosting win as they get set for the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup.
With the win, Enyimba have now moved to the third position on the log.
Heartland were 1-0 winners over Jigawa Golden Stars in Okigwe, a result that will gladden Fidelis Ikechukwu’s heart.
The Owerri side have not had a good start to the season but Ugochukwu Leornard’s goal in the 48th minute gave Heartland their first three points of the season.
The game in Uyo ended 1-1 between Akwa United and Nasarawa United who remain winless this season.
Akwa United went ahead in the 45th minute but could not hold on for the win as Godfrey West popped up with the equaliser for the Lafia side in the 52nd minute to share the spoils.
Oghenetega Ebetomane scored the only goal of the game for Abia Warriors in the 6th minute against MFM to earn all the points for his side in Umuahia.
Ebetomane’s goal condemned MFM to their first loss of the season and lifted Abia Warriors to the 6th position on the NPFL table after Matchday 5.