Rivers, Plateau continue title chase as Enyimba lose in Ibadan
Four games were decided, yesterday, in continuation of Matchday 25 of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) spread through the week.
The fixtures, which commenced on Sunday with three games that ended in victories for home teams, had a near similar scenario yesterday from the four centres, except in Kaduna.
Pick of the matches yesterday were the ones involving title-chasing Rivers United and Plateau United, where both teams recorded victories.
While Rivers had it rosy to take out Niger Tornadoes in Port Harcourt, Plateau United laboured to claim maximum points against continental hopeful, Remo Stars.
League top scorer, Ishaq Kayode, put Rivers United in front a minute after the hour mark as he converted a through pass from Maurice Chukwu with a chip over Lucky Jimoh.
Rivers doubled their lead two minutes after as Nwagua Nyima tapped in a low cross from Chijioke Akuneto following a spill by Tornadoes’ keeper in the box.
With 10 minutes to end the game, substitute Konan Ruffin Ngouan made quick impact to put the icing on the cake for the leaders as he stabbed home Rivers’ third when he was released by Nelson Esor in Tornadoes’ box.
The victory meant Rivers United retained their top position on the log with 55 points after 25 league games.
In Jos, Plateau United kept the chase on leaders, Rivers United, close following a hard earned 1-0 win over Remo Stars, thanks to a second half header from Ibrahim Buhari.
The hosts could have taken the lead within the opening five minutes but Jesse Akila’s goal was chalked off for offside after the referee had spotted an infringement in the build up to the goal.
Plateau United dominated for most part of the first half, but met a strong Remo Stars’ rear line with calculative goalkeeper in Kayode Bankole, who thwarted their efforts.
Whatever Fidelis Ilechukwu told his boys in the dugout worked for them, as they used it to raid Remo’s defence to earn the lone goal in the 55th minute.
Free-scoring defender, Ibrahim Buhari, rose highest to prod home from Akila Jesse’s cross for his fourth goal of the season.
Remo rallied late in the game with moments of dominance, but the host held on to secure the match points.
Plateau are still within distance to Rivers with 51 points from 25 games.
Shooting Stars had one of their best evenings in their return to the NPFL yesterday when they beat Enyimba 2-0.
Enterprising midfielder, Moses Omoduemeke, combined well with Lucky Moses to give Shooting Stars the lead in the 14th minute.
The goal scorer would then become the provider for the second goal with five minutes to end the first half when he fed Emmanuel Lucky, who made a simple tap in to send the home fans into frenzy.
The second period was more of an exchange in control with Enyimba making series of incursions to stage a comeback but it was too late for the Finidi George boys as Shooting protected their first half goals.
The last match on the card yesterday ended scoreless between Wikki Tourists and Heartland FC in Kaduna.
The hosts were seeking to consolidate on their last away win at MFM, but found their visitors unyielding and would remain 10th on the log.
Heartland have moved a step up on the table, but still in the red zone.
Matches continue today through Thursday before the conclusion of the MatchDay 25.