I waited for January 14 for three reasons: Arsenal’s visit to Swansea, the 2017 African Cup of Nations and the return of the Nigeria Professional Football League.
Arsenal did their job – a tidy 4-0 win. Giroud opened scoring, Sanchez was on the score-sheet and Iwobi forced two own goals in. Tottenham had sent West Brom to the cleaners early with a 4-0 win.
The much awaited 2016/17 NPFL didn’t start so well in Kano. The match was abandoned in the 50th minute to the disappointment of the Kano fans and football lovers around the world. FC IfeanyiUbah abandoned the game. The referee blew for half time just as Prince Aggreh was taking a free kick for the visitors. Not a goal but they took the law into their hands. We are waiting for official statement from the LMC – organizers of the league.
Sunday proved more better with goals in all centers except in Bauchi. All but one of the continental representatives failed to win their matches. Wikki Tourists played out a goalless draw against Nasarawa United. Rivers United were 2-1 better than El-Kanemi Warriors while Rangers were silenced at the Cathedral by Abia Warriors. It was a first NPFL victory for Abia Warriors over Rangers. Coach Emordi must be very pleased.
In Lagos, MFM FC went haywire with a 3-0 win over Niger Tornadoes. The three goals were scored in the first half. Shooting Stars were 2-0 winners over Lobi Stars. Last season, Lobi Stars ran away winners but the Ibadan landlords were having none of that. Enyimba pipped Sunshine Stars 1-0 in Calabar.
Katsina United were 2-1 winners over fellow newly promoted Gombe United. Remo Stars were stunned 2-1 at home by Plateau United while ABS defeated Akwa United 3-1 in Ilorin.
Two away wins and a draw to start the 2016/17 NPFL – great. The only dent is the abandoned game in Kano. Hopefully it is resolved soonest because Matchday 2 is on us already.
Yes, the AFCON kicked off on Saturday but there draws left, right and center until Senegal defeated Tunisia 2-0 last night. Zimbabwe drew 2-2 with Algeria despite Mahrez’s brace, Burkina Faso drew 1-1 with Cameroon and Guinea Bissau stunned host Gabon with a late equalizer after Aubameyamg grabbed the first goal of the tournament. I am rooting for every underdog in Gabon.
That was my weekend. Running off to see the boss.
Photo credit: LMC