NPFL MD 30 Roundup: Pillars, Enyimba fail to Win As Rivers return to Top Five
By Diegwu Nwankwor
It was a goalfest on MatchDay 30 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) even as title contenders Kano Pillars and Enyimba failed to mount pressure on table toppers, Akwa United as they failed to grab maximum points against soft opponents while Rivers United revived its hopes to play continental football with a big win over Plateau United.
Playing a day before top of table clash between Akwa United and Nasarawa United, Kano Pillars missed the chance to go top of the table after losing 2-1 to MFM FC at the Agege Township Stadium. Tosin Olubolola gave MFM FC the lead in the 17th minute before Adeyinka Najeem extended the lead in the 64th minute. Rabiu Ali pulled one back for the Sai Maisu Gida in the 89th minute but it was too little to late.
Enyimba missed a big chance of getting into the top 3 after drawing 1-1 with struggling Warri Wolves in Aba. Wolves took a shock lead through David Chimezie in the 72nd minute but the lead lasted five minutes as Enyimba skipper Austin Oladapo equalized for the People’s Elephant.
Rivers United are back into the top 5 after a comprehensive 3-1 win over Plateau United at the Adokiye Amasieamaka Stadium in Port Harcourt. Godwin Aguda scored early in the 2nd minute from the penalty spot before Malachi Ohamuma doubled the lead for the Pride of Rivers in the 33rd minute. Shadrack Ohali made it 3-0 just after the break. Andrew Ikefe scored a consolation for Plateau United on 75th minute.
In Enugu, Rangers made it two wins from two after beating South East rivals Abia Warriors 2-1 in the Oriental Derby. It was the visitors who took a shock lead at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium when Yakub Ahmed scored just before halftime. However, The Flying Antelopes came back strongly to win the match in the second half thanks to goals from Christian Nnaji in the 52nd minute and Elijah Ani in the 87th minute.
In Makurdi, Lobi Stars made light work of Heartland FC with a 3-0 win at the Aper Akum Stadium. The Naze Millonaires looked destined for doom from the start after fielding its reserve team due to the on going strike of its first team players but surprisingly held on till the second half before falling apart. Ossy Martins scored a brace while Monday Akile got the other goal that sealed the three points for Lobi Stars.
Katsina United distanced themselves from the relegation zone with a massive 1-0 away win over Jigawa Golden Stars. Joseph Atule scored the decisive goal in the first half for Katsina United and it now places them six points above the relegation zone.
In Nnewi, FC IfeanyiUbah boosted its chances of avoiding relegation from the NPFL after a 3-0 thrashing of struggling Adamawa United. Ekene Awazie, Nonso Nzediegwu and James Abel got the goals for the Anambra Warriors that are now two points from safety while Adamawa United.
NPFL MatchDay 30 Results
Lobi Stars 3-0 Heartland FC
Rivers United 3-1 Plateau United
FC Ifeanyi Ubah 3-0 Adamawa United
MFM FC 2-1 Kano Pillars
Enyimba Int’l 1-1 Warri Wolves
Rangers Int’l 2-1 Abia Warriors
Jigawa GS 0-1 Katsina United
Sunshine stars 1-0 Wikki Tourists
Dakkada FC vs Kwara United
Akwa United vs Nasarawa United