Matchday 4 and 5 Reviews: Akwa United move to the top, Kwara United and Enyimba record first win, Heartland still searching for a win.
The games are coming in thick and fast in the Nigeria Professional Football League as the 2017/18 season continue to spring up surprises.
Akwa United are the toast of the nation now after they went to Lokoja, make mincemeat of Niger Tornadoes’ 75 home matches unbeaten run with a 2-1 victory. Nosiru Afees cancelled out Dennis Nya 23rd minute penalty but the visitors grabbed the winner in the 72nd minute. The Promise Keepers continued their fine form with a 3-0 victory over struggling Kwara United at the Nest of Champions. They seat at the top of the table – ahead of Plateau United only on goal difference.
Plateau United remain on course to retain their title after back to back victories in the NPFL. The Jos based side ran over El-kanemi Warriors 3-0 on Matchday 4 before dispatching fellow CAF Champions League side MFM FC 1-0 on Saturday. Tosin Omoyele’s 2nd minute goal was enough on Saturday against the Church Boys. Omoyele has been involved in the last three goals scored by Plateau United.
After a dismal show on Matchday 3, Enyimba FC look have turned the corner. They were bottom of the table for about 24hours before their Matchday 4 encounter with Nasarawa United. Stanley Dimgba scored twice in two games for the Peoples Elephant as they defeated Nasarawa United 1-0 in Calabar and held Rivers United to a 1-1 draw in Port Harcourt few days later. They host Abia Warriors in the first Abia Derby of the season.
In Makurdi, the absence of talisman Anthony Okpotu is not being felt as Samad Kadiri took Niger Tornadoes to the cleaners in Lobi Stars 3-1 win on Sunday. Samad Kadiri assisted Ezekiel Mba in the 13th minute, before scoring a brace in the 35th and 71st minute.
In Lafia on Monday, Okey Odita thought he had earned a point for Rangers after his 78th minute equalizer but Seun Sogbeso’s 95th minute penalty earned Nasarawa United the three points after a 2-1 victory. Abubakar Abdullahi opened scoring in the 9th minute.
In Maiduguri, Kano Pillars held El-Kanemi to a goalless draw. Junior Lokosa could not make it 5 goals in 5 games after scoring in his first four games of the season. Will he get another goal in Matchday 6?
Three of the newly promoted side are finding it hard in the NPFL so far. Heartland, Go Round FC and Kwara United occupy three of the relegation places. Heartland is the only team yet to secure a win this season. With 4 draws and a loss, it won’t be surprising that there will be some managerial changes in Owerri soon. Despite recording their first win of the season, Kwara United remain at the bottom of the NPFL table. They have lost 4 of their 5 matches in the new season and may join ABS FC so soon. Yobe Desert Stars are doing well enough.
In Morocco, the Super Eagles have qualified to the semi-finals of CHAN 2018. The home based players came from behind to defeat Equatorial Guinea 3-1 in their final group game to finish tops and needed another comeback to see of Angola in the quarter final. Anthony Okpotu may be missing some chances but he has had 2 goals in 2 games for the Super Eagles. They face Sudan for a place in the final.
Matchday 4 Results
Kwara United 1-0 Wikki Tourists
Niger Tornadoes 1-2 Akwa United
Yobe Desert Stars 1-0 Lobi Stars
Go Round FC 1-1 Heartland FC
Rangers FC 1-0 Katsina Untied
Enyimba FC 1-0 Nasarawa United
Sunshine Stars 2-0 Rivers United
Kano Pillars 2-1 Abia Warriors
Plateau United 3-0 El-kanemi Warriors
MFM FC 2-1 FC IfeanyiUbah
Matchday 5 Results
Wikki Tourists 1-0 FC IfeanyiUbah
Akwa United 3-0 Kwara United
Lobi Stars 3-1 Niger Tornadoes
Heartland FC 1-1 Yobe Desert Stars
Katsina United 3-0 Go Round FC
Nasarawa United 2-1 Rangers FC
Rivers United 1-1 Enyimba FC
Abia Warriors 0-0 Sunshine Stars
El-Kanemi Warriors 0-0 Kano Pillars
Plateau United 1-0 MFM FC
Post was originally posted as “Akwa and Plateau Unite at the Top as Heartland Remain Winless” on Kiniscore.com.