Shooting Stars battle Rangers to 1-1 thriller, Wolves continue free fall
Enugu Rangers and Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan yesterday rekindled their age long rivalry at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, where they treated the massive crowd to some of the best moves in the 15-week Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).
It was supposed to be a walk over for Rangers, who are sitting pretty atop the league ladder, but 3SC would have nothing of the underdog tag placed on them before the game.
The Ibadan-based 3SC, which recently got hammered 6-0 by Kano Pillars, did not show any sign of a team struggling for form as they battled for every ball throughout the game.
Chisom Egbuchulam put Rangers ahead from the penalty spot following a rough tackle on him inside the box in the 80th minute and the Flying Antelopes looked as if they were running away with the spoils. But Tope Orelope restored parity for 3SC when he converted a penalty awarded after Skipper Mathew Etim handled the ball in the box in the dying minutes.
Yesterday’s result did not do much harm to Enugu Rangers’ position on the log as they remained on top with 28 points from 15 matches.
Kano Pillars are second on 27 points, while Abia Warriors are third on the same number of points, but with an inferior goals difference.
At the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, Heartland defeated El Kanemi 2-1, with Anthony Oussu (11th minute) putting the home team ahead, while Daniel Japheth restored parity two minutes later. Emeka Ogbugh scored the winner for Heartland in the 23rd minute.
At the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano Pillars defeated bottom team, Ikorodu United 2-1 with Emmanuel Edmund opening scoring for the home team after 15 minutes off a splendid pass from Rabiu Shehu. However, Ikorodu United equalised on 27th minutes with Yemi Olasupo nodding in the goal. Skipper Rabiu Ali’s 77th-minute goal made sure Kano Pillars took all the three points to remain in touch of leaders, Rangers.
Plateau United were held to a goalless draw in Jos by Sunshine Stars, while Warri Wolves recorded their first home loss of the season when they were beaten 0-1 by Rivers United, who had Bernard Ovoke’s 52nd-minute goal to thank for their win.
Wikki Tourists beat Nasarawa United 2-1, Uche Ihuarulam’s 37th-minute goal gave Abia Warriors a 1-0 victory over Giwa FC, while Lobi Stars defeated MFM FC 1-0 courtesy of a Monsuru Bashiru’s 65the minute own goal.
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