NPFL Matchday Five Produces Three Away Victories, 15 Goals

Photos: LMC Media

 

Plateau United, Rivers United and newly promoted Dakkada FC have recorded vital away victories in Matchday 5 of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League.

Still relishing in their first league win, after beating Ifeanyi Ubah FC 1-0 on matchday 4 in Uyo, Dakkada FC travelled to Enugu to create a major upset.

Rangers have been struggling this season. With just one win (1-0 over Sunshine Stars on matchday one) from four matches and occupying an embarrassing position on the league table, the Flying Antelopes had nothing but victory on their minds when they filed out to take on Dakkada FC in Enugu.

When the action began, the troubles of Rangers was exposed to the people of Enugu. Eighteen minutes into the match, Femi Ajayi opened the scoring for the visitors. No one saw it coming but there was more come.

Just before the break, Isaac George doubled the lead for the visitors and the problems of Rangers and their fans at the stadium. The 2015/2016 league champions couldn’t do much to change the outcome of the match. It ended Rangers 0 Dakkada FC 2. Shocking!

League leaders, Plateau United continued their fine form to the season with a 1-3 victory over Delta Force in Asaba.

As early as six minutes into the match, Coach Abdul Maikaba’s team were already creating chances. Ibrahim Mustapha missed a clear chance to put the team ahead. He had just the goalkeeper to beat but couldn’t take the chance.

In the 36th minute, Plateau United paid for the missed chances when Delta Force was awarded a penalty. Kazie Eyinnaya stepped up to the spot and scored to give the home team the lead. That was the wake-up call for Plateau United and moments later, they levelled up after Uche Onwuasoanya benefited from a goalkeeping error.

In the second half, Plateau United turned up the heat. Michael Ibeh’s goal in the 72nd minute gave them the lead while Ibrahim Mustapha’s goal in extra time sealed the victory for the visitors at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.

The victory ensured Plateau United maintained their position at the top of the league table and still unbeaten. Their next match is against struggling Kano Pillars at the New Jos Stadium in Jos.

Rivers United Players

 

Rivers United added to the woes of Delta State teams with a 0-1 victory over Warri Wolves at the Warri Stadium. Coming from a decent performance against MFM FC in Lagos, where they shared points in 1-1 draw, they failed to replicate same against a determined Rivers United team.

37 minutes into the match, Cletus Emotan sent in a cross from a free-kick and it found the head of an unmarked Stephen Gopey to give the Port Harcourt based team the lead. Warri Wolves pushed and fought to draw level but it didn’t happen for them. Rivers United will take maximum points back home and hope to consolidate in their next match against Abia Warriors.

Matchday five also ended well for Katsina United as they beat Sunshine Stars 2-0. The Changi Boys left it late till the 80th minute for Tasiu Lawal to score the opener. At the dying minutes of regulation time, Gambo Muhammad scored his first goal for the club to seal the victory for the home team.

Enyimba Football Club of Aba also returned to winning ways. Coming from a difficult defeat to Sunshine Stars on Matchday 4 in Akure, the People’s Elephant needed to win when they took on Adamawa United. They got the victory.

The victory was sealed in the first half. A brace from Victor Mbaoma in the 20th and 26th minutes of the match made the difference and were good enough to shoot Enyimba to third on the league table with 10 points.

 

Lobi Stars Players Arrive venue of the fixture against Ifeanyi Ubah FC

 

The other teams from the east also recorded victories, except FC Ifeanyi Ubah that played a goalless draw with Lobi Stars in Nnewi. Abia Warriors defeated MFM FC of Lagos 1-0. Assisted by Zinte Udeh, Oghenetega Ebetomane scored from close range to seal the victory for the home team.

Finally, Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu can breathe as Heartland recorded their first win of the season after beating Jigawa Golden Stars 1-0. Thanks to Ugochukwu Leonard whose goal made the difference. The Naze Millionaires now have 2 loses, 2 draws and 1 win from five matches. Up next for them is Wikki Tourists at the Pantami Stadium in Gombe.

 

Kano Pillar player fights for the ball with a player of Wikki Tourist

 

The struggles of Kano Pillars continued with a 0-0 result with Wikki Tourists. The former league champions are yet to record a win this season and have recorded just two points from four matches.

Another struggling team is Akwa United. The Promise Keepers have recorded 4 draws and a loss from five matches. 3 of those draws have been at home. They have achieved just 2 points from a possible nine. Today, in Uyo, they played 1-1 with Nasarawa United. Ndifreke Effiong gave Coach John Obuh’s team the lead from the spot but they lost it when Godfrey West scored for the visitors.

The Nigeria Professional Football League has been criticized for a poor record of away victories but there’s been an improvement this season. With just five matchdays concluded, eight away victories have been recorded and that’s a clear message to followers of the league to brace up for a highly competitive season.

 

2019/2020 NPFL Matchday 5 Results

 
Rangers 0-2 Dakkada FC
 
Delta Force 1-3 Plateau United
 
Warri Wolves 0-1 Rivers United
 
Katsina United 2-0 Sunshine Stars
 
Enyimba 2-0 Adamawa United
 
Heartland 1-0 Jigawa Golden Stars
 
FC Ifeanyiubah 0-0 Lobi Stars
 
Abia Warriors 1-0 MFM
 
Kano Pillars 0-0 Wikki
 
Akwa United 1-1 Nasarawa Utd

NPFL: MFM FC, Plateau United Lead Matchday 1 Review

Matchday 1 results. Photos: LMC Media

 

Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries (MFM) Football Club of Lagos and Plateau United produced the major talking points of the opening day of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.

The team, formerly managed by Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu, travelled to Okigwe to deliver a strong message of intent on their aspiration this season as they stunned Heartland FC 0-1 to record the first away victory of the season.

On August 5, 2019, Coach Ilechukwu was officially unveiled as the new coach of Heartland FC after spending 13 progressive years at MFM FC. It was arguably the pragmatic coach who stabilised the team when they gained promotion to the NPFL in 2016 and when some of the boys he tutored visited Okigwe, they showed him some of the skills he taught them.

It was actually Clement Ogwu, a player signed by coach Ilechukwu last season from an unknown Glorious Day Academy that headed home the game’s only goal in the 39th minute from a corner kick by right back Adeyinka Najeem.

After the match, MFM FC head coach, Tony Bolus was full of praise for his team.
“I need to appreciate the boys for their effort today, for keeping and playing to instructions. They maintained the tempo of the game from the beginning until the end.”

If Ogwu had scored that goal last season, Ilechukwu, also referred to as the “Working One” would have given the fans his trademark energetic celebration, lifting his hands to the heavens and punching the ground. But there was nothing to celebrate on matchday one with his new team and he will be hoping for a turnaround on matchday 2 when the Naze Millionaires go against Rivers United at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt.

Akwa United and Warri Wolves in action on Matchday one

 

At the New Jos Stadium, Plateau United cruised to a comfortable 3-1 victory over Lobi Stars to put behind the disappointment of last season’s opening day clash with Ifeanyi Ubah.

The stadium had a fairly good number of spectators which include a former governor, Jonah Jang cheering the team all the way. Nerot Silas didn’t take long to reward the fans loyalty as he scored the opener in the 12th minute. In the 27th minute, an own-goal by Solomon Kwambe doubled the lead for the hosts.

But Lobi Stars will not go down without a fight. They kept pushing and in the 32nd minute, they were awarded a penalty. Sikiru Alimi stepped up to it and converted to keep hopes alive. But the hopes were dashed when winger, Amo Gyang Danladi finished a fine move to seal victory and also shoot the 2017 league champions to the top of the league table after matchday one.

After the match, Coach Abdul Maikaba said the victory is a good relief from what happened on the opening day of last season.

“Last season, we struggled and it started with the first match with Ifeanyi Ubah FC. We drew here and it caused a lot of confusion and put a lot of pressure on the team. Before we recovered in an abridged league, it became so difficult. We escaped relegation by a whisker and so, this time around, starting with another home game, we had to start well. We told the boys not to repeat last season’s error and to get a win that will put us on top of the league table,” a happy Maikaba said.

In Kano, former league champions Kano Pillars felt the absence of their home fans as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Rivers United at the Sani Abacha Stadium. The game was played behind closed doors because of a ban placed on Pillars due to unacceptable fans behaviour during the Super Six tournament in Lagos last season.

Players from Kano Pillars and Rivers United vie for the ball on Matchday one

 

In Gombe, Wikki Tourists of Bauchi were the only team that produced a comeback victory on matchday one. They defeated newly promoted Jigawa Golden Stars 2-1 at their adopted home ground.

15 minutes into the match, Lala Abdullahi gave Jigawa a shock lead at the Pantami Stadium but two second-half goals from Saidu Abubakar and captain Mohammed Idris Guda gave coach Ibrahim Garba’s team the maximum points.

At the Umuahia Township Stadium, Abia Warriors also got off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory over Katsina United. Former Heartland FC player, Jimoh Oni’s brace did all the magic.

Oni’s first goal came as early the 8th minute, when he drilled a free-kick from 20 yards beyond Mustapha Aliko and followed up two minutes into the second half with another goal assisted by Phillip Auta.

Emmanuel Deutsche’s team will hope to sustain the momentum when they clash with Akwa United on matchday 2 of the league at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.

In Nnewi, FC Ifeanyiubah edged newly promoted Adamawa United 1-0 courtesy of a superb strike by Samuel Kalu minutes to the end of the first half. It would have been more for the Anambra Warriors but Striker Chibuike Ezeh failed to convert a second-half penalty which could have widened the scoreline for the Anambra Warriors.

Matchday one also witnessed a double-header clash between Delta and Akwa-Ibom states. Delta Force hosted NPFL debutants, formerly Akwa Starlets, now Dakkada FC in Asaba while Warri Wolves hosted Akwa United at the Warri Township Stadium.

In both games, the teams shared the spoils.

In Warri, Samuel Amadi scored the fastest goal of the new season when his strike gave Wolves the lead with just two minutes into the match. Captain of the Promise Keepers, Mfon Udoh continued from where he left off last season to restore parity for John Obuh’s team.

At the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Isaac George scored in the 50th minute to give Dakkada FC the lead but the experienced Bala Yahuza rescued a point for the home side.

Enyimba vs Nasarawa United and Rangers vs Sunshine Stars were rescheduled due to Enyimba and Rangers’ CAF Confederation Cup engagements on Sunday.

2019/2020 NPFL Matchday 1 Results

Heartland 0-1 MFM FC
Plateau United 3-1 Lobi Stars
Kano Pillars 0-0 River United
Wikki Tourists 2-1 Jigawa Golden Stars
Abia Warriors 2-0 Katsina United
FC Ifeanyiubah 1-0 Adamawa United
Warri Wolves 1-1 Akwa United
Delta Force 1-1 Akwa Starlets

Plateau United Emerge NPFL Champions

Photo: @NPFLOfficial/Twitter

Plateau United made history on Saturday with a first Nigerian title after edging out last season’s champions Enugu Rangers 2-0 at a packed Rwang Pam Stadium in Jos.

Plateau United finished top of the 20-team table with 66 points from 38 matches.

They will represent Nigeria in next year’s CAF Champions League along with runners-up MFM FC, who lost 2-1 at El Kanemi Warriors to finish four points adrift.

It is the second league championship the northeastern city of Jos, famous for its tin mines, after Mighty Jets won the title in 1972.

Towering young striker Chukwuemeka Umeh showed cool composure inside the six-yard box when he slotted beyond goalkeeper Itodo Akor for the opening goal on 26 minutes.

But the home team then had to wait until a minute from full-time before substitute Benjamin Turba doubled the lead, when he fired home a loose ball.

Two-time African champions Enyimba will represent Nigeria in next year’s CAF Confederation Cup after they finished third, one point ahead of Akwa United.

Enyimba beat Katsina United 1-0, while Akwa United saw off Kano Pillars 3-0.

AFP

 

No Meltdown In Plateau Utd, Says Boboye

Plateau United coach, Kennedy Boboye, has played down talk of a meltdown within the camp of the league leaders.

The coach has stunned many in the Nigerian Premier League this season, taking the Jos-based club side to within striking distance of a first-ever league success.

The league leaders saw there five points lead at the top cut to two following a 3-1 defeat to El-Kanemi Warriors in a match day 27 fixture but he says the team will pick up from the defeat and focus on other key games ahead.

Plateau United have amassed 48 points from 27 matches this season.

Read Also: CAF Confed Cup: Club Africain Beat Rivers United 2-0

Plateau United Humble Gombe In NPFL Clash

Plateau United Stun Gombe In NPFL ClashPlateau United have extended their lead at the top of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) table with their 5-1 home win over Gombe United.

Plateau, who are on 45 points, are now five points clear ahead of second-placed MFM FC of Lagos.

At the Agege Stadium, Stephen Odey returned to MFM’s starting 11 as they edged struggling Shooting Stars of Ibadan 1-0.

In Port Harcourt, Rivers United beat FC Ifeanyi Ubah 2-1, while Enugu Rangers halted their three-game winless run with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Akwa United at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu State.

Elsewhere, ABS of Ilorin beat Lobi Stars 1-0, Wikki Tourists defeated Niger Tornadoes 3-1, Katsina United thrashed El-Kanemi Warriors 3-0 and Remo Stars beat Nasarawa United 1-0.

NPFL: Rivers United, MFM FC Defeat Opponents

NPFL: Rivers United, MFM FC Defeat OpponentsIt was a delightful match for Rivers United as they defeated defending champions Enugu Rangers on Sunday evening.

The Nigerian south-south team, who finished second last season, beat their visitors 1-0 to clinch their third win of the season.

Elsewhere, MFM FC thrashed Remo 1-0 while Akwa United beat El-Kanemi Warriors 1-0 at the Nest of Champions in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

Sunshine Stars also defeated Wikki Tourists 1-0, just as the clash between ABS FC and Katsina United ended in same score line.

Also, Lobi Stars beat visiting Gombe United 1-0; Niger defeated Nasarawa 2-0 while Kano Pillars recorded the biggest feat with a 3-1 win against Enyimba International.

Meanwhile, the game between FC Ifeanyi Ubah and Abia Warriors ended 2-2 while Shooting Stars held league leaders Plateau United to a 1-1 draw.

Sunshine Stars Defeat Rivers United In NPFL Clash

Sunshine Stars Defeat Rivers United In NPFL ClashTroubled Sunshine Stars put aside their financial crisis to beat high-flying Rivers United 1-0 on Sunday.

The Ondo-based club clinched the victory in a match day 10 tie of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) played at the Akure Township Stadium.

Former Enyimba Midfielder, Ayo Saka, pulled a belter from 14 yards to hand the Owena Waves their win of the season.

The result moved Sunshine Stars six places to the 11th position with 12 points on the table.

NPFL Match Day 10 Results

Meanwhile, Prince Aggreh scored from the penalty spot as FC Ifeanyi Ubah defeated league leaders, Plateau United 1-0 in Nnewi, Anambra State.

Chinedu Udoji’s first-half header also earned Kano Pillars a lone victory over neighbours, Katsina United.

In a similar development, Lobi Stars came from behind to beat seven-time champions, Enyimba with goals from Anthony Okpotu and former Enyimba Midfielder, David Tyavkase.

Niger Tornadoes maintained a perfect home record after a 1-0 win over struggling Gombe United in Lokoja.

El-Kanemi warriors also stunned Nasarawa United 2-0  with two second half goals while ABS FC edged past Wikki Tourists 1-0.

Federation Cup Final To Be Played On November 6

federation cupFederation CupThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have confirmed that this year’s men and women Federation Cup final, will be played at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, on November 6, 2016.

Rivers Angels and Bayelsa Queens will lock horns in the women’s finals which kicks off by 1pm.

While the much-anticipated final between Ifeanyi Ubah Football Club and Nasarawa United will also take place at same venue with the match expected to start at 3.30pm.

Lagos state has hosted the last five finals of the Federation Cup.

Nasarawa United shocked defending champions Enyimba to make it into their dream final, while FC Ifeanyi Ubah defeated giant killers Crown FC 2-1 in Kaduna.

Winners in the Federation Cup get to represent Nigeria in Africa’s second tier club competition, the CAF Confederation Cup.

Super Eagles Beat Plateau United 3-0 In Test Match

Super Eagles, Plateau UnitedThe Super Eagles on Wednesday defeated local league side, Plateau United, 3 – 0 in a test match at the National Stadium in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Anderson Esiti’s goal and Alex Iwobi’s brace gave the Eagles a whopping victory over the Nigerian Premier League club.

Coach Gernot Rohr lined up his players for the practice game as he intensifies Nigeria’s preparations for Sunday’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Zambia in Ndola.

The coach reportedly made wholesome changes to the playing personnel at half time after struggling in the first half.

The move paid off as the Eagles became more dangerous, confining their opponents to their half of the field.

The starting 11 had Ezenwa, Musa Muhammed, Madu, Jamiu, Agbo, Esiti, Shehu, Ahmed Musa, Chisom Egbuchulam, Nosa and Obaje.

While the second half featured Ikeme, Echiejile, Omeruo, Ekong, Onazi, Mikel, Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Iwobi, Ndidi and Ideye.

NPFL: Abia Warriors Vow To ‘Fight’ Wikki In Bauchi

wikki tourists, NPFL, Abia WarriorsAbia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia striker, Chinenye Agoha, has declared that they will give Wikki Tourists a run for their money when they clash in this weekend’s matchday 28 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) encounter at the Abubakar Tafewa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi.

Agoha, who scored the only goal in Abia Warriors’ 1-0 victory over visiting Warri Wolves last Sunday in Umuahia, said the win was a sign of better days ahead.

“We had some bad results in the recent past mainly because of the injury which hit many of our key players but we have overcome that now and ready to re-establish ourselves as one of the best in Nigeria”, Agoha, a mid-season signing said.

According to the Afugiri, Umuahia-born hitman who joined Abia Warriors from Giwa FC of Jos, the players have made up their minds to fight for a good result in Bauchi this weekend.

“We know Wikki is good this season, we are also good and that is why fans should expect good football this weekend”, he said.

Agoha, who was one of the players released by the League Management Company (LMC) to join a club of their choice after Giwa was thrown out of the league for not honouring three matches earlier this season, said he has already warned his captain and friend at Giwa, Charles Henlong who is now with Wikki Tourists to get ready for him as Abia Warriors were not in Bauchi on a picnic but on a serious business.

He said that he was pleased the way the league is being run now as anybody can pick points anywhere without any incidents and commended the LMC and the referees for a job well done so far.

Federation Cup: Round of 16 Matches Postponed

Federation Cup, NFFThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has postponed matches of the Round of 16 of the 2016 Men Federation Cup competition as well as the quarter–final matches of the women competition due to the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations.

After the Federal Government announcement on Friday that there would be public holidays on Tuesday, 5th July and Wednesday, 6th July for the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations, the NFF had to reschedule the Round of 16 matches of the men’s competition and the quarter final matches of the women’s event for Tuesday, 12th July and Wednesday, 13th July 2016.

Sunshine Stars of Akure go up against Akwa United in Makurdi on Tuesday, 12th July as Crown FC of Ogbomosho and Enugu Rangers go for a tug in Kaduna on the same day.

In–form Rivers United and five–time champions Shooting Stars will now battle at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Wednesday, 13th July, as Wikki Tourists of Bauchi confront Plateau United in Akure in other all –NPFL clashes.

NPFL side FC IfeanyiUbah will take on Katsina United at the Kwara Sports Complex, Ilorin on Wednesday, 13th July while Nasarawa United will test might with Dynamite FC of Benin City at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja on the same day as Warri Wolves are up against Prime FC of Oshogbo at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi.

The postponed Round of 32 clash between Enyimba FC and El-Kanemi Warriors will come up in Abuja on Wednesday, 13th July, keeping Round of 16 opponents J. Atete on holiday.

In the women’s competition, Abia Angels will take to the field in Lokoja against Nasarawa Amazons, as Delta Queens and Katsina Queens do battle in Abuja on Tuesday, 12th July.

Champions Sunshine Queens will tango with Rivers Angels of Port Harcourt in Abuja on Wednesday, 13th July and Bayelsa Queens and COD United Ladies of Lagos trade tackles in Oleh.

 

Men’s Round Of 16

Akwa United Vs Sunshine Stars         – Makurdi    – 12/7/16     – 4pm

Crown FC Vs Enugu Rangers            – Kaduna     – 12/7/16     – 4pm

Rivers United Vs Shooting Stars         – Kaduna     – 13/7/16     – 4pm

Wikki Tourists Vs Plateau United       – Akure       – 13/7/16     – 4pm

Katsina United Vs FC IfeanyiUbah      – Ilorin        – 13/7/16     – 4pm

Prime FC Vs Warri Wolves               – Makurdi    – 13/7/16     – 4pm

Dynamite FC Vs Nasarawa United      – Lokoja      – 13/7/16     – 4pm.

J. Atete Vs Enyimba FC/El-Kanemi Warriors

Note: Enyimba FC Vs El-Kanemi Warriors Round of 32 to be played in Abuja on Wednesday, July 13 by 4pm.

 

Women’s Quarter Finals

Nasarawa Amazons Vs Abia Angels    – Lokoja      – 12/7/16     – 4pm

Delta Queens Vs Katsina Queens        – Abuja        – 12/7/16     – 2pm

COD United Vs Bayelsa Queens         – Oleh                  – 13/7/16     – 4pm

Sunshine Queens Vs Rivers Angels     – Abuja        – 13/7/16     – 4pm

NPFL Match Day 22 : Wikki Tourists Stay On Top

wikki tourists, NPFLWikki Tourists have maintained their position at the top of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) table despite playing a goalless draw with Heartland in Owerri.

Title challengers, Enyimba of Aba and Enugu Rangers both suffered losses in their away fixtures with the defending champions losing by a lone goal to Shooting Stars while Plateau United defeated Rangers, 2-0.

Match Day 22 Results

Heartland FC    0-0 Wikki Tourists

Shooting Stars 1-0 Enyimba FC

Plateau United   2-0 Rangers Int’l

Rivers United   4-1 MFM FC

Ikorodu United 1-1 Akwa United

Sunshine Stars 1-0 Lobi Stars

Nasarawa United 4-2 FC Ifeanyi Ubah

Kano Pillars 2-2 Warri Wolves