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NPFL: Rivers United Unbeaten Run Ends As Jigawa Golden Stars Win Big

Austin Okon-Akpan  
Updated January 13, 2021
Caption 2: Jigawa Golden Stars players arriving for a league match. Picture courtesy: LMC Media

 

Jigawa Golden Stars produced arguably the major talking point of matchday 4 in the Nigeria Profesional Football League today with a stunning 3-1 victory over Abia Warriors in Aba.

Before action commenced, the odds favoured Abia Warriors who were winless in three matches to cruise past the lowly rated Jigawa Golden Stars.

Coach Imama Amapakabo’s team started well, taking the lead early in the 7th minute when Arit Archibong’s header found the net with an assist from Nzube Anaezemba. It was the sort of start the Warriors wanted but their joy was short-lived as the visiting team found their way back into the contest with a scrambled goal scored by Olasunkanmi Quadri in the 24th minute.

The shocking process for Abia Warriors started midway into the second half. They won a penalty in the 60 minutes, Fatai Abdullahi stepped up to the spot, took it and missed. Trying to get over the miss and get back in the game, Jigawa Golden Stars took the lead in the 74th minute when Musa Ali pass found Stone Samuel who neatly displaced his marker and slot the ball into the net.

The visitors lead. Unbelievable!

In the final minutes of the match, the Warriors gave all the push they had just to level up but it wasn’t their day. Stone Samuel completed his brace in the 82nd minute to secure victory for Jigawa Golden Stars and condemned Abia Warriors to the bottom of the table with four losses in four matches.

In Bauchi, Wikki Tourists ended the unbeaten run of Rivers United. Chinedu Udeagha’s goal in the 30th minute made the difference and also secured a first win for Wikki this season. Despite the win, the Pride of Rivers still lead the league standings with 9 points.

In Ozoro, Warri Wolves earned their second win of the season with an impressive 3-0 victory over Katsina United. The turnaround happened for the home side in the second half with the first goal coming from Daniel Mark whose volley took a deflection to find the net in the 59th minute.

Moments later, substitute, Tega Ebetomame made it two for Warri Wolves while a brilliant free-kick by Wisdom Jumbo wrapped up a sweet performance for coach Evans Ogenyi’s team that needed to bounce after losing 3-0 at Lobi Stars on matchday 3.

In Owerri, kick-off was delayed in the game between Heartland FC and Enyimba Football Club of Aba just to players licensing issue but when the action got underway, the home team confirmed their intentions.

Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu’s team had gone three games without a point and playing against the admirable Enyimba was a chance to show they can compete this season. In the 33rd minute, Shedrack Oghali confirmed that intent and opened the scoring for the home team. Emmanuel Adachiel’s goal in the 53rd minute sealed a 2-0 victory for Heartland.

In Enugu, Rangers International Football Club beat FC Ifeanyi Ubah to leap to the second position in the league. The Flying Antelopes are tied on 9 points with league leaders Rivers United. They will hope to consolidate on the result when on they take on MFM Football Club of Lagos on matchday 5.

In Akure, Lobi Stars got so close to securing an away win but Sunshine Stars showed resilience to ensure the game ended 2-2.

Fouad Ekelojuoti opened the scoring for the Sunshine Stars in the 9th minute and the relief on Coach Gbenga Ogunbote’s face confirmed how much they need a win following their defeat to MFM of Lagos on matchday 3. Just before the break, Samuel Mathias scored for Lobi to ensure the game stayed 1-1 at half-time.

In the second half, both teams created chances but it was the visitors who took the lead in the 77th minute through the in-form Ossy Martins who scored his third goal of the season. The goal switch on the alarm bells of Sunshine Stars, and they came all out looking for the equalizer.

It was a fight that went down to the final minutes. The Akure Gunners mounted pressure on their opponent and with barely a minute for the final whistle go off, Sadeeq Yusuf, positioned well in the box tapped the ball into an empty net after Seun Olulayo’s free-kick hit the woodwork.

The game ended 2-2.

Huge relief for Sunshine Stars, it’s just one win so far for them and they couldn’t afford to lose home today. Lobi Stars will be biting fingers all through their journey back to Makurdi, Coach Kabiru Dogo’s team will be pondering how they allowed a vital away win to slip.

In Ilorin, it was a tale of Christopher Nwanze who scored for Kwara United from the spot and later scored an own-goal to gift Akwa-United a point on the road.

Back home in Uyo, Akwa-United’s younger brother, Dakkada FC played a 1-1 draw with MFM Football Club of Lagos. Chigozie Solomon gave Dakkada the lead just before the break. After the match against Sunshine Stars in Lagos, goalscorer of the only goal, Dennis Obasi predicted that Coach Tony Bolus will leave Uyo with something and he was right. The game ended 1-1.

In the northern derby, Kano Pillars beat Plateau United 1-0 to continue their unbeaten run in Kaduna. The Sai Masu Gida ever-dependable captain, Rabiu Ali scored from the spot to secure victory for the Kano-based team that now have 2 wins and 2 draws from four matches.

At the Pantami Stadium in Gombe, Adamawa United and Nasarawa United played a goalless draw to wrap up day 4 proceedings. Nasarawa United had a chance to get a goal in the 27th minute of the match but Reuben Nicodemus failed to score from the spot.

Action will resume in the Nigeria Professional Football League on Sunday, January 17th, 2021 with matchday 5 fixtures.

NIGERIA PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

MATCHDAY 4 RESULTS

Abia Warriors 1 Jigawa Golden Stars 3

Wikki Tourists 1 Rivers United 0

Warri Wolves 3 Katsina United 0

Heartland FC 2 Enyimba 0

Rangers Int’l FC 2 FC Ifeanyi Ubah 1

Sunshine Stars 2 Lobi Stars 2

Kwara United 1 Akwa United 1

Dakkada FC 1 MFM FC 1

Kano Pillars 1 Plateau United 0

Adamawa United 0 Nasarawa United 0