Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) returned after the national elections with pulsating fixtures that produced 16 goals highlighted by Akwa United’s stunning 2-1 win away to Heartland reports npfl.ng.
The Matchday 11 games saw MFM of Lagos and FC Ifeanyiubah of Nnewi retaining their places at the top of Groups A and B respectively following wins at home against Insurance of Benin and Kano Pillars and it was Heartland that failed to record a first win in five games.
Fidelis Ilechukwu’s men took the lead at the Agege Stadium on 39 minutes, when Olawale Abiosoye headed home Jonathan Zikiye’s corner. Again, Zikiye turned the provider on 58 minutes, when his free kick was turned in by Michael Ohanu, to ensure MFM kept their place at the top irrespective of other results.
At the Pantami Stadium, Gombe, goals from Abba Umar and Ismaila Issa Gata helped struggling Wikki Tourists to a 2-0 win at home to visiting Rivers United of Port Harcourt.
Despite being reduced to ten men for most of the second half, Katsina United managed a lone goal victory against Kwara United at home. Martins Usule got the only goal of the fixture on 13 minutes.
The games between Remo Stars and Rangers as well as Niger Tornadoes against Lobi Stars were postponed, due to the former and latter’s involvement on the continent, while Enyimba and Sunshine Stars shared the spoils in Akure after a 0-0 draw.
In Pool B, Mfon Udoh’s eighth goal of the campaign helped Akwa United to a 2-1 win away to Heartland FC of Okigwe. Udoh’s 72nd minute effort earned all three points for his side, despite Chidiebere Ajoku’s 57th minute equalizer that had earlier cancelled Ndifreke Effiong’s fourth minute strike. Heartland finished the last 16 minutes with 10 men when their goalkeeper Ebele Obi was shown a straight red card for deliberately handling the ball outside his area.
The win propels Akwa United to second on the log, two points adrift of FC Ifeanyiubah, who edged Kano Pillars by a lone goal courtesy of Uche Ihuarulam on 66 minutes in Nnewi.
Philip Auta’s brace aided Yobe Desert Stars to a 2-0 win at home to visiting Go Round FC in Damaturu.
In Kaduna, Kabiru Sanusi’s late penalty ended Nasarawa United’s hope of sharing the spoils away to Kada City. Maigishiri Mohammed had earlier put the visitors in front on 61 minutes, before Nura Mohammed restored parity ten minutes after.
Paul Sampson’s blistering free kick spared Abia Warriors’ blushes as they rallied late to secure a point at home to Plateau United. The visitors had earlier drawn the first blood through Oche Salefu on 51 minutes.
In Maiduguri, El-Kanemi Warriors failed to make use of their numerical advantage against Gombe United who had to play the whole of the second half with a one man down after Peter Ambrose was sent off at the stroke of half-time. El-Kanemi and Gombe United played out a goalless draw.