Matchday 19 Review

With a few outstanding matches left to play, the 2017/18 Nigeria Professional Football League has gotten to the mid-way point. Junior Lokosa is the man on fire after scoring his 15th and 16th goal of the season in Kano Pillars’ 2-0 win over Heartland in Kano. He scored in the 14th and 47th minute of the game.

With a game in hand, Lobi Stars remain on top of the table with 34 points. They were held to a 1-1 draw in Akure. The game seemed to have been heading for a goalless draw until Samad Kadiri silenced the home crowd. Just when you thought that Lobi Stars their third away win of the season, Jide Fatokun’s 92nd minute power header from Abiodun Joseph’s cross earned Sunshine Stars a point.

There were three other NPFL matches that ended in draws. Yobe Desert Stars were held to a goalless draw in Damaturu by Kwara United, 10-men Enyimba were held to another goalless draw in Calabar by Akwa United, while Go-Round FC and FC IfeanyiUbah failed to find the net in Omoku.

Enugu was the place for goals. Rangers were 3-0 winners over Wikki Tourists. Felix Ogbuike’s fre kick was headed in by Godwin Aguda to give the Flying Antelopes the lead in the 35th minute. Christian Madu doubled the lead in the 71st minute before Kelvin Itoya’s 76th minute free kick wrapped up the goals at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.

Niger Tornadoes continued to put the pressure on Lobi Stars with their 1-0 win over MFM FC on Sunday. Abubakar Ndayebo converted a 13th minute penalty to give the Minna-based side all thre points. They are now four points behind Lobi Stars in second place.

Plateau United, recently cautioned by CAF, were 1-0 winners over Katsina United with the goal from the penalty spot. Emmanuel Odafe was the goal scorer in the 56th minute after Bala was fouled in the box.

El-kanemi Warriors defeated Nasarawa United 2-0 in Maiduguri. Anthonio Desousa opened the scoring in the 8th minute before debutant Michael Ohanu made it 2-0 to the home side. In Umuahia, there were three errors and three goals. Abia Warriors emerged 2-1 winners over Rivers United.

The LMC’s hammer was also in action last week. Heartland FC were docked 3 points and fined N6.25m for breaches to the NPFL framework following ugly incidents in their 1-1 draw against Plateau United on Matchday 18 in Owerri. Plateau United and MFM FC were also N1m and N3m respectively. More details can be found on the NPFL website.

With the docked points, Heartland are now at the bottom of the table with 15points. They look determined to head back to the NNL. Kwara United (19), Go Round FC (20) and Wikki Tourists (21) complete the relegation zones.


Photo-credit: LMC Media

Post was first published as Fines, Goalless Draws and Lokosa’s Brace on