Enyimba Football Club of Aba made a winning return to the Nigeria Professional Football League with a 1-0 victory over Sunshine Stars of Akure on Monday at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.
The matchday 17 fixture was played in Lagos following an order by the League Management Company that Sunshine Stars will play their next two matches out of Akure for breaching security rules and misconduct on matchday 15 against Nasarawa United.
With four more outstanding matches to play, Enyimba look good to compete for the league after Monday’s win shot them to fifth on the log with 27 points – just three points separate them and league leaders, Kwara United.
Samson Obi’s second-half goal made the difference.
The defeat for Sunshine Stars means the Akure Gunners have played 10 matches without a win.
The last time coach Gbenga Ogunbote’s team won a league match was a 3-1 victory against Rangers on matchday 7 in Akure, Ondo State.
In Enugu, Rangers maintained their relevance at the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Nasarawa United.
The Flying Antelopes occupy the second position but are tied on 30 points with Kwara United.
Two quickfire goals in the first half did the job for coach Salisu Yusuf’s team as Godspower Aniefiok’s header gave the home team the lead just two minutes into the match before Chinonso Eziekwe maintained his fine form with another goal six minutes later.
In Uyo, Dakkada FC edged Plateau United 1-0 after Isaac George’s goal in the 28th minute secured maximum points for– their eighth win of the season and shot the Chosen Ones to eighth on the log.
With Monday’s results, matchday 17 has produced 26 goals, the highest so far this season.
Kwara United’s five-star performance against Adamawa United was a major contributor and The Harmony Boys spanked their opponent 5-0 with Stephen Jude scoring the first hat-trick of the season.
NIGERIA PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Matchday 17 Results
Sunshine Stars 0 Enyimba 1
Rangers 2 Nasarawa United 0
Dakkada FC 1 Plateau United 0
Kwara United 5 Adamawa United 0
Lobi Stars 4 Rivers United 1
Abia Warriors 3 Katsina United 1
Wikki Tourists 1 Kano Pillars 2
MFM FC 1 Akwa United 2
Heartland FC 1 Warri Wolves 1