The weekend started very wet with the heavens hammering the earth with torrential downpour. It was raining cats and dogs in some areas. In other areas, it was raining elephants and whales such that major roads became swimming arenas and kayak spots. It was a very wet weekend in Lagos and parts of Nigeria.
In the NPFL, the rains were transformed to goals – we all love goals. Don’t you. There were plenty goals in Ilorin, Jos and Calabar. It was the near opposite of the previous Matchday that had so many 1-0 wins. There was no 1-0 win in the NPFL last weekend – yes, none. Not one.
Ilorin provided the highest number of goals on Matchday 28 with 6 goals recorded. Four of those six goals were scored by a team that have never scored 4 away goals in their top flight history and were wallowing in the relegation zone before the clash – Sunshine Stars. First half ended 0-0 but the hosts, ABS FC, who recently launched their new Puma kit were stunned in the 46th minute by Sikiru Alimi. Within 8 minutes, they were down by 2-0 with Ajibola the scorer.
The home team started what looked like a revival in the 61st minute from the spot (Oyedeji) but Sunshine Stars made it 3-1 in the 76th minute by Abiodun Joseph. Chukwuebuka Anaekwe grabbed a second for the host but any hope of an equalizer was dashed in the next minute as Ezekiel Thompson made it 4-2 to Sunshine Stars. The fans were excited to see so much goals, applauded the teams but will need to watch out because ABS FC is being drawn towards the black hole of relegation. Puma won’t like that as well.
There were three goals each in Calabar and Jos. Enyimba ran away 3-0 winners over Niger Tornadoes with Ikechukwu Ibenegbu grabbing his 4th goal of the season for the Peoples Elephant. Table toppers Plateau United were 3-0 winners over 10-men Akwa United in Jos.
In the El-Classico, Shooting Stars held Rangers FC to a 1-1 draw in Enugu with Godwin Aguda opening the scoring in the 29th minute before Abu Azeez grabbed his first league goal for the season for Shooting Stars. There were also wins for Gombe United, Abia Warriors, Wikki Tourists and Katsina United over El-Kanemi Warriors, Nasarawa United, Kano Pillars and Lobi Stars respectively.
The results over the weekend seem to have dragged Rivers United to the relegation battles, although with 3 outstanding matches. They were knocked out of the CAF Confederation Cup and will need to shift focus to the NPFL to save face. Their game against MFM FC was postponed. The game between between Remo Stars and FC IfeanyiUbah could not hold due to suspected food poisoning in the Remo Stars camp. The match will be played on Tuesday.
Hopefully the rains will subside but the goals will not. Can we hand Plateau United the trophy now? Will Enyimba pull a surprise? There are 10 more Matchdays to go.
Stats: Opta Nigeria