The NPFL – Nigeria’s topmost league – is a difficult one with unique characteristics. While it is some times painted as an all-home-win league, there are unique cases that defy such postulates. One way to survive in the NPFL is to avoid home defeats. Like a piece of lead tied to a small piece of wood, a home defeat drags a team towards the relegation zone. Little wonder teams fight tooth and nail to avoid home defeats.
This is the case of Yobe Desert Stars who made their debut in the relegation zone after a 1-0 home defeat to Akwa United on Matchday 23. The August 27th stadium in Damaturu is known for home victories since last season in the Nigeria National League. Yobe Desert Stars basked in the comfort of the points they would acquire playing in the top most league in the land – the NPFL.
They survived Enyimba who were the first NPFL team to pick a point in Damaturu. They were held at home by Kwara United and FC IfeanyiUbah but last weekend, Akwa United grabbed all three points at the August 27th stadium. Michael Ibe’s 76th minute goal gave the visitors the win against Yobe Desert Stars. The Desert Stars have now lost to Wikki Tourists, Lobi Stars and Akwa United consecutively. Will they survive this season?
Yobe Desert Stars are joined by FC IfeanyiUbah who lost to Kwara United to make it three loses in three games. Two consecutive home loses to Niger Tornadoes and MFM FC have pulled the Anambra Warriors to the quagmire of relegation. They have an Oriental brother to comfort them in the relegation waters – Heartland, destined for the NNL.
Akwa United reduced the point difference from Lobi Stars at the top to just 2 points. Lobi Stars lost 1-0 to Go Round FC in Omoku. Shedrack Oghali’s 69th minute header was the only goal in the game.
Niger Tornadoes were 1-0 winners over Wikki Tourists while the little matter of the Oriental Derby between Rangers and Heartland in Enugu ended 1-0 in favour of the home team. MFM FC defeated El-Kanemi Warriors 1-0 at the Agege Stadium.
In Jos, there were 4 second half goals. Plateau United were on the verge of losing at home but they were saved by a late penalty. Saidu Salisu had given the defending champions the lead in the 49th minute through a free kick but Sunday Adetunji equalized for Abia Warriors in the 68th minute with a header from Jimoh Oni’s cross. Within 2 minutes, Abia Warriors were ahead with Samson Obi the goal scorer.
Reuben Bala had his 87th minute penalty saved but Plateau United goat another chance within the next 7 minutes. Saidu Salisu didn’t miss from the spot in the 94th minute – squashing every hope of an away win for Abia Warriors.
In Calabar, Uche John and Joseph Osadiaye were the goal scorers for Enyimba in their 2-0 win over Katsina United. Sunshine Stars were also 2-0 winners over Nasarawa United in Akure. Jide Fatokun and Sikiri Alimi were the goal scorers.
Junior Lokosa scored his 19th goal of the NPFL season after Kano Pillars were held to a 1-1 draw by visitors Rivers United. Chikere Osita had given the visitors the lead in the 12th minute before Lokosa pulled Kano Pillars level immediately after the break.
The league goes on break for the world cup and resume with Matchday 25. We wish the Super Eagles the best in Russia.
Nigeria qualified for the 2018 AWCON after a 6-0 win over Gambia at the Agege Stadium. Desire Oparanozie scored 4 goals while Asisat Oshoala scored twice. The Super Falcons progressed 7-0 on aggregate. Will Ghana still host the tournament?
Photo-credit: LMC Media
Post was originally posted as Damaturu Dismantled as Akwa United put pressure on Lobi Stars at the Top on kiniscore.com