Rangers, Enyimba earn crucial away wins as Plateau United retain top spot
By Diegwu Nwankwor
It was a high-scoring day in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) Matchday 25 fixtures which saw champions Enyimba and Rangers return to the top five of the table as Plateau United still leads following wins for all of them.
In total, 23 goals were scored with the fixture between Dakkada and Rangers producing fives.
In Jos, league leaders extended its unbeaten run to 10 matches after seeing off relegation-threatened Kwara United 2-1 at the new Jos Stadium.
A first half brace from Ibrahim Mustapha, the first from the penalty spot in the 16th minute and another in the 25th minute ensured that Plateau United secured its 4th straight win. Plateau United are still unbeaten in the second round of the season.
Clearly, Abdu Maikaba’s men are the team to beat in the race for the title.
Following the defeat, Kwara United have sunk deeper into the relegation zone at the 18th position, two points from safety.
At the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt, 2nd placed Rivers United kept up the pressure on Plateau United with a routine 2-0 win over Warri Wolves.
A brace from Malachi Ohawume and another goal from Kunle Odunlami ensured that the Pride of Rivers returned to winning ways after losing to Enugu Rangers last Sunday.
They remain four points behind league leaders Plateau United while Warri Wolves are fifteenth, one point from the relegation zone.
In Makudi, Lobi Stars returned to winning ways after beating FC IfeanyiUbah 1-0 at the Aper Akum Stadium with Samad Kadiri scoring an early in the 5th minute.
Lobi Stars are still 6 points from the top of the table while FC Ifeanyi Ubah are 12th, four points from the relegation zone.
There was a goal fest in Uyo where Rangers International defeated Dakkarda FC 3-2 to return to the top 5 of the NPFL for the first time this season.
For Rangers, Israel Abia netted a brace and Ibrahim Olawoyin got the third while Ajayi Oluwafemi got a brace for Dakkarda FC who have picked up just one win in its last six NPFL matches.
Rangers have now won three straight matches and are now six points off the continental spot on the table.
There was also another crucial away win for defending champions Enyimba as they defeated struggling Adamawa United 2-0 at the Pantami Stadium Gombe.
Stanley Dimgba and Cyril Olisema scored in either half to ensure that the champions are back into the top five of the table, seven points from the continental spots with five games in hand.
Adamawa United face an uphill task of avoiding relegation to the lower divisions as they are now 10 points from safety following the defeat.
MFM FC earned a crucial 3-1 win over Abia Warriors while Wikki Tourists edged Kano Pillars 1-0 and Sunshine Stars slumped to a surprised 2-1 home defeat to Katsina United.