Plateau United thrash Akwa United 3-0 as Enyimba lose again
Plateau United outclassed reigning champions Akwa United 3-0, yesterday, to keep in touch with Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) leaders, Rivers United, at the top of the table.
In the game decided at the New Jos Stadium, Zaria Road, hosts, Plateau United, made a fast start as winger Nenrot Silas gave them the lead after six minutes with an unstoppable effort from the edge of the box.
Centre back, Ibrahim Buhari, then made the game safe after the hour mark before Izuchukwu Chimezie added the icing on the cake in stoppage time.
The win takes Fidelis Ilechukwu’s men back to within a point of Rivers United, who had earlier stretched their lead to four points on Saturday.
With 15 games played already this term, the top two sides are now five points clear of third-placed Remo Stars, as the top three faces difficult away ties in midweek.
Kwara United climbed one spot up to fifth after a hard-earned 1-0 win over Niger Tornadoes in a North Central derby in Ilorin. Alao Danbani’s fourth goal of the season in the 19th minute proved sufficient for Abdullahi Biffo’s men to claim all three points in a cagey contest.
Also climbing yesterday were Wikki Tourists, who veered into the top half of the table after a spirited 1-0 win over neighbours, Gombe United.
After an inseparable one hour of football at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, homeboy, Manu Garba, netted in the 63rd minute what turned out to be the only goal of the game, as visitors, Gombe United, went down to 10 men in stoppage time following the dismissal of right-back, Chidera Eze.
Wikki are now seventh on the log, climbing four places from their 11th placement before yesterday’s game.
The final Match Day 15 game yesterday also saw MFM FC continue battling to leave the drop zone, as they left it late to beat Sunshine Stars 1-0 in at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
The obstinate Sunshine side thought they would once again escape with an away point, but they had their hearts shattered nine minutes from time when substitute Muyiwa Alade Balogun scored with a fine effort.
Although the Church Boys still remain bottom of the log (now on goals difference), the win means they have now taken seven points from their last possible nine.
Earlier on Saturday, Finidi George’s Enyimba were beaten by a lone goal by Heartland of Owerri, whose goal came from the boots of Murphy Ndukwu in the 57th minute.
Murphy Ndukwu’s second-half goal saw Heartland get all three points as they pipped Enyimba 1–0.
The Aba Elephants are without a victory in their last four games for a measly four points in February.
On their part, the derby win has seen Heartland move to the 17th position, just behind Niger Tornadoes, who occupy the 16th position based on superior goals difference.
In Ikenne, Remo Stars returned to winning ways as they defeated Katsina United 2-0. The Sky Blue boys welcomed their fans back to the stadium after serving LMC’s behind closed door punishment.
Ogunbote’s side broke the deadlock at the last minute of the first half with Tolulope Ojo’s header to energise their fans.
Andy Okpe sealed victory; scoring from the penalty spot in the second half. Remo Stars stay in the third position with 26 points while relegation battlers, Katsina United, dropped to the 19th position with 14 points.
Elsewhere, Abia Warriors defeated Shooting Stars 2-1 to stay away from the relegation zone.
In Nnewi, Rangers were held to a barren draw by Kano Pillars. It was Rangers’ second home draw, while Pillars enjoyed their first away point in February.
Up next is MatchDay 16, which comes up this Wednesday and Thursday in ten different centres.
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