Kano Pillars and Nasarawa United have intensified their chase for the Nigeria Professional Football League top position with vital victories on matchday 33.
The result also reduced Akwa United’s lead at the top of the table to just three points.
At the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, Pillars captain, Rabiu Ali scored his 13th goal of the season as Sai Masu Gida cruised to a 2-0 win over Dakkada FC. The hosts did all the work in first half with David Ebuka scoring the second goal in the 40th minute to ensure Pillars improve their points and stay third on the league table. This is the 17th win of the season for Pillars and the 15th loss for Dakkada.
At the Lafia Township Stadium, in-form striker, Silas Nwankwo scored his 14th goal of the season and it was all Nasarawa United needed to beat MFM FC 1-0. Nwankwo’s early goal secured the Solid Miners 18th win of the season and maintained their second position on the log.
In Port Harcourt, Rivers United almost recorded their first home defeat. With just 3 minutes to the end of the match, Bakary Bamba scored a stunning goal to rescue a point for the Pride of Rivers against Akwa United. Earlier, Charles Atshimene had shot the Promise Keepers into the lead and they held on to it until Bamba created his moment to keep the home invincibility record of the hosts.
With just 5 more games to play, Coach Kennedy Boboye’s team will cherish the point as they prepare to host Warri Wolves on matchday 34. Akwa United still leads the league with 3 points and still favourites to win the league title. Rivers United have dropped to fourth position on the log.
In Aba, Enyimba had to dig deep to beat Jigawa Golden Stars 2-1. Tosin Omoyele’s late goal stopped the visitors from leaving with a point. The win brings some relief to coach Fatai Osho’s team after a disappointing defeat at Akwa United. The People’s Elephant now have 57 points and are back in the top four.
The Oriental Derby between Heartland FC and Enugu Rangers at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri ended 2-1 in favour of the Naze Millionaires. All the goals came in the first half with Mbaoma Chijioke open scoring for the hosts. Elijah Ani levelled the scores in the 24th minute but it didn’t take long before Chijioke Akuneto restored the lead for Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu’s team and they held on to it to secure victory.
At the New Jos Stadium, Plateau United added to the woes of FC Ifeanyi Ubah by spanking them 4-0. Jackson Daniel, Oche Ochowechi, Muhammad Zulkifilu and Uche Onwuansoanya registered their names in the goalscorers chart. The Peace Boys have now gathered 47 points from 33 matches. The Anambra Warriors are now deeply rooted in the relegation zone.
At the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina United and Lobi Stars played 1-1 while Wikki Tourists beat Abia Warriors 1-0 in Bauchi. Ibrahim Sale scored the lone goal in the 55th minute.
Warri Wolves and Sunshine Stars continued their fight to avoid relegation. Warri Wolves laboured to a 1-0 win over Kwara United while Sunshine Stars played a goalless draw with Adamawa United.
NIGERIA PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Matchday 33 Results
Kano Pillars 2 Dakkada FC 0
Nasarawa United 1 MFM FC 0
Rivers United 1 Akwa United 1
Enyimba FC 2 Jigawa Golden Stars 1
Heartland FC 2 Rangers Int’l FC 1
Plateau United 4 FC Ifeanyi Ubah 0
Katsina United 1 Lobi Stars 1
Wikki Tourists 1 Abia Warriors 0
Warri Wolves 1 Kwara United 0
Adamawa United 0 Sunshine Stars 0
1. Nasarawa United line-up against FCIU on matchday 32 (Main story picture)
2. Rivers United line-up against Akwa United today in Port Harcourt
3. Akwa United line-up against Rivers United on matchday 33