Plateau stay top despite Ibadan draw, Rangers, Enyimba lose
Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) leaders, Plateau United, were forced to a 1-1 draw by Shooting Stars of Ibadan yesterday, but the Kennedy Boboye-led team remained on top of the log on 22 points.
Plateau United took the lead in the 45th minute through Johnson Ibeh and was on the driving seat until the 70th minute when 3SC was awarded a controversial penalty by the match officials. That decision nearly marred the game as Plateau United players and officials disputed the action.
However, reason later prevailed and Ibrahim Adebayo tucked in the spot kick to earn a point for the home side. Enugu Rangers’ indifferent run this season continued at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt where the defending champions lost 0-1 to Rivers United off an Esosa Igbinoba’s early strike.
Akwa United halted El Kanemi’s recent surge up the table in Uyo off a goal by Ibrahim Alhassan in the 82nd minute. The 1-0 win came as a welcome relief to the Uyo side, which have not had an easy ride in the 12-week league.
Despite the defeat, El-Kanemi maintained their second position on the log with 21 points, one short of leaders, Plateau United. Home team, Kano Pillars were reduced to 10 men in their game against Enyimba at the Sani Abacha Stadium, but they rallied to beat the six-time champions 3-1.
Former Ikorodu United star, Kabiru Balogun got two goals in the 24th and 61st minutes, while veteran striker, Gambo Mohammed added the third late in the game.
Stephen Chukwude got the visitors’ consolation goal in the 69th-minute from the penalty spot after former Enyimba captain, Chinedu Udoji handled the ball inside the box and was sent off.
Elsewhere, IfeanyiUbah were held to a 2-2 draw by Abia Warriors, Gombe United lost 1-0 to Lobi Stars, ABS pipped Katsina United 1-0 in Ilorin, Sunshine Stars defeated Wikki Tourists 1-0 in Akure, MFM FC edged Remo 1-0 at the Agege Stadium, while Niger Tornadoes beat Nasarawa 2-0.