Matchday 17 and 18 Review
With two Matchdays of the NPFL, one on both sides of a continental week Nigerians would love to forget quickly, Lobi Stars look to be heading for the half-way point as table toppers.
The Benue based side extended their lead on top of the table to 6 points after Matchday 18 fixtures. Ayo Saka’s 81st minute header was enough for Lobi Stars to defeat Kano Pillars at the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi.
Katsina United moved to second spot after a 1-0 win over El-Kanemi Warriors. Destiny Ashadi converted from the spot in the 53rd minute after Martins Usule was fouled in the box. Niger Tornadoes are just behind Katsina United on the log after a late winner by Andrew Ikefe over newly promoted Yobe Desert Stars in Minna.
Go Round FC recorded their first away point of the season after holding Kwara United to a 1-1 draw in Ilorin. Stephen Alfred scored his 8th goal of the season for the home side in the 16th minute but Chidi Nwachukwu drew the Go Round level in the 76th minute. Chile Azu missed a 53rd minute penalty – his 2nd in two consecutive games for Go Round FC.
Akwa United squeezed past Sunshine Stars 2-1 while the Oriental Derby in Nnewi ended goalless between FC IfeanyiUbah and Rangers FC. In the battle of the Elephants, Enyimba held Wikki Tourists to a goalless draw in Jos with Super Eagles goalie Ikechukwu Ezenwa putting up a man of the match performance.
Heartland looked to have secured all three points against defending champions Plateau United in Owerri but Daniel Itodo’s throw caused a commotion in Heartland’s box for Tosin Omoyele to equalize in the 94th minute. The Naze Millionaires had won just one of their last eight matches but Abidoun Thompson strike in the 21st minute was not enough. MFM FC were held 1-1 by Rivers United.
In the previous Matchday (17), El-Kanemi Warriors were the biggest winners after a 3-0 trouncing of visiting Heartland FC. Sochima Eluma’s 57th second goal was all Rivers United needed to defeat Nasarawa United in Port Harcourt. Abia Warriors were held to a 1-1 draw by Katsina United, Rangers could only get a point against Kwara United after a goalless encounter in Enugu.
Sunshine Stars were 2-1 winners over Wikki Tourists while Go Round FC were held to a 1-1 draw by Niger Tornadoes on China Acheru’s 1000th live game marked as #Ikwerreman1000.
On the continent, three of Nigeria’s four representatives crashed out last week. Plateau United were hammered in Algeria, MFM FC fired blanks in Mali and Akwa United couldn’t keep a clean sheet at home. Only Enyimba progressed to the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup.
There will be midweek games – all of which will involve the teams that had continental engagements. The table will take shape after these matches. Will Lobi Stars still remain on top?
Photo-credit: LMC Media
Post was first written as Numerous Draws as Lobi Stars Extend Lead to Six Points on kiniscore.com