2018 NPFL Matchday 3 review: Heartland lose Oriental Derby, Enyimba bite Katsina Dust, Defending Champions Fall behind in Umuahia as Lobi Stars pip Go Round FC
The marathon continued in the NPFL with heartbreak at the Dan Anyiam Stadium and goals galore in Maiduguri.
Buoyed by the new partnership with Imo Air, newly promoted Heartland could not make the best of home advantage in the biggest clash of the weekend as Rangers FC rose from the ashes to secure their first victory of the season. Bright Silas’ 10th minute goal was enough for Gbenga Ogunbote who secured his first points for the Enugu based side.
It was heartbreak for Heartland as they missed a 45th minute opportunity to equal the tie as Emariojake’s penalty hit the framework. It is now two consecutive home losses for Owerri side against Rangers in the NPFL. They sit in the relegation zone alongside oriental brothers Enyimba who were beaten 2-0 away at Katsina United. Will Enyimba be patient with Paul Aigbogun. This is not the best of starts. No win in three.
Completing the bottom three is Kwara United who are the only team yet to secure a point this season. Godwin Obaje made it three in three as his 23rd minute goal opened scoring for FC IfeanyiUbah. Kwara United had no answers and went further behind with Ekene Awazie’s goal in the 63rd minute. The Ilorin based side finished with 10 men but remain winless since their return to the NPFL. Are they going back so soon?
Matches between El-kanemi Warriors and MFM FC always have at least three goals in it. They didn’t disappoint as four goals were scored with the home side emerging 3-1 winners with goals from Bello Kofarmata, Ocheme Edoh and Sunday Anthony.
In Port Harcourt, Rivers United needed a second half goal from Guy Kuemian to secure three points against visiting Kano Pillars who had a good number of fans at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium. Bamba Bakari put the home side ahead in the 19th minute but Junior Lokosa scored his third goal in three matches to pull Kano Pillars level.
There were three 1-0 wins on Matchday 3 but the win at Makurdi moved Lobi Stars to top spot with 7 points from 3 games. Lobi Stars are the only unbeaten team this season in the NPFL and needed Samad Kadiri’s 32nd minute goal to secure three points against newly promoted Go Round FC.
Defending champions Plateau United fell behind to a very early goal in Umuahia. Samson Obi finished off Chinedu Ozor’s pass in the 2nd minute and the rest is history as Abia Warriors secured a 1-0 win over Plateau United.
There were also home wins for Wikki Tourists, Akwa United and Nasarawa United. None of the 19 goals recorded this matchday were scored from the penalty spot. Two penalties were awarded but none converted. Are the goalies getting better or the strikers worse?
Matchday 3 Results
- Wikki Tourists 1-0 Niger Tornadoes
- Abia Warriors 1-0 Plateau United
- Nasarawa United 2-0 Sunshine Stars
- Rivers United 2-1 Kano Pillars
- El-kanemi Warriros 3-1 MFM FC
- Heartland 0-1 Rangers
- Lobi Stars 1-0 Go ROund FC
- FC IfeanyiUbah 2-0 Kwara United
- Katsina United 2-0 Enyimba FC
- Akwa United 2-0 Yobe Desert Stars
Don’t you just love the NPFL? Matchday 4 is on Wednesday.
Chibuzor Amos (@AmosCP)
Post was first published as Heartbreak and Home Wins as Lobi Stars Rise to the Top at KiniScore.com