NPFL MD 5 Wraps: Abia Warriors secure first point as Rivers Utd, Nasarawa Utd impress

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Rivers United remained firmly in cruise control at the top of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) after five matches as they whipped Heartland FC 3-1 in Port Harcourt to improve to 12 points

The Pride of Rivers returned to winning ways on Sunday at the Adokie Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt after a routine win over troubled Heartland FC.

The Pride of Rivers at the midweek ended their unbeaten start to the season in Bauchi after a 1-0 loss to Wikki Tourists but goals from Godwin Aguda and Kazie Enyinnaya in the 18th and 65th minutes put them in commanding lead against the Naze Millionaires.

Heartland threatened a fightback through Samuel Nnoshiri’s industriousness who picked out Shedrack Oghali to reduced the tally In the 78th minute and the ex-Go Round’s striker’s second goal of the season. But the Pride of Rivers restored their two goal cushion through Malachi Ohawume’s goal in the 86th minute. Rivers United remain on top of the NPFL after five games with 12 points.

In Lagos, MFM forced visitors Enugu Rangers to a 1-1 draw. Ugochukwu Ugwuoke put the Flying Antelopes in the driver’s seat in the 23rd minute but Muyiwa Balogun equalised for the Olukoya Boys six minutes later. Rangers have 10 points from five games and are fourth on the log while MFM are eighth with eight points.

At the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi, Lobi Stars pipped Dakkada 2-1. Samuel Mathias got the curtain-raiser for the Pride of Benue in the 15th minute but the Uyo side equalised through Christian Ekong in the 71st minute before Austin Ogunye restored Lobi Stars’ advantage with a late minute penalty kick which he converted in the 90th minute. Lobi are third on the league table with 10 points while the Chosen Ones fell to seventh spot with eight points.

Enyimba humbled Kano Pillars 2-1 in Aba. The tie dubbed Naija El Classico lived up to the hype. The People’s Elephant started brightly with a wonder individual goal through Anayo Iwuala in the 15th minute and they doubled the advantage in the 38th minute through Gabriel Orok. Many that thought the game would be one sided because of Enyimba blistering start got it all wrong as Sai Masu Gida stepped up their game in the second half. They even reduced the goals deficit through Fahad Usman. Enyimba are fifth on the log with nine points from four matches. They have outstanding game with Kwara United on Wednesday in Ilorin.

Sunshine Stars needed a stoppage-time goal to beat hardfighting Warri Wolves in Akure. It was as if the game was headed for a goalless draw until Sadeeq Yusuf conjured up the match winner at the dead to hand the Owena Whales precious maximum points. Sunshine Stara are 11th on the log with seven points from five games while the Seasiders are 12th with six points.

Imama Amapakabo and Abia Warriors began the three game ultimatum handed to them by the team’s Management with a 1-1 draw at Nnewi against FC IfeanyiUbah. Samuel Christian popped home the opening goal in the ninth minute but the Anambra Warriors levelled the tie 12 minutes from time through Christian Molokwu. Abia Warriors earned their first point of the season but are still last on the league table while FC IfeanyiUbah are in 17th position with four points from five games.

At the New Jos Stadium, Plateau United late rally fetched another 3-0 home win over Adamawa United. The Yola based side gave the Peace Boys a tough time and had to be a lone goal down at halftime because of an infringement in the 18 yard box. Amos Gyang netted from the spot to put Plateau United ahead in the 45th minute. Kingsley Innocent and Wasiu Jimoh scored quickfire goals in the 89th and 90th minutes to make it a respectable 3-0 win. The Peace Boys are ninth on the log with seven points from five matches while Adamawa United who are yet to win a game in the ongoing season are 19th with two points.

Nasarawa United pipped Katsina United 1-0 in Lafia through the 49th minute strike of Chigozie Uzochukwu. The Solid Miners are only unbeaten team remaining in the top flight this season. They are in second position with 11 points from five games.

Jigawa Golden Stars were held to a goalless draw by ambitious Kwara United in Kaduna. It was the Harmony Boys fourth point from three away games. They host Enyimba on Wednesday in the rescheduled NPFL Matchday Two tie in Ilorin where they will have a chance to move to the middle of the table at least with a home win. They currently have five points from four games are 15th on the table.

Rivers United maintained their first spot on the log with 12 points from five games while Nasarawa United, Lobi Stars, Rangers and Enyimba with 11, 10, 10, and nine points occupy second, third, fourth and fifth positions in that order.

FC IfeanyiUbah, Heartland FC, Adamawa United and Abia Warriors are in the bottom four after five games.

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