NPFL Week 23 Review: Remo Stars, Kwara United Boost continental ticket hope with away draws

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.Akwa United pick a draw in Gombe

.Dakkada, 3SC beat opponents

.Crowd violence mars Kano Pillars home return

Enugu Rangers failed to take maximum points for the first time in their new home ground, Awka City Stadium, Awka after Sunshine Stars grabbed a goalless draw yesterday in one of the NPFL Week 23 games.

The Flying Antelopes still remain in third spot with 38 points but with fourth and fifth places Remo Stars (37 points) and Kwara United (36 points) breathing down their neck with only two points below and with both having home games to play next while Rangers are away on Kaduna to Niger Tornadoes, a lot could change in the league table after Week 24 games.

Sunshine Stars on their part improve to the 6th spot with 33 points.

At the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, Wikki Tourists were held to a 1-1 draw by Kwara United. The Giant Elephants struck first through Abubakar Aliyu in the 13th minute but the Harmony Boys equalised 10 minutes before the regulation time for shared spoils through Abdulsalam Abdulsalam.

The draw keeps Kwara United in the top five with 36 points and they could even steps further if they beat Abia Warriors in their next home game. Wikki are 10th with 31 points.

Akwa United extended their unbeaten streak under Ayodeji Ayeni to four games after they snatched a 1-1 draw against Gombe United at the Pantami Stadium.

It was the league’s reigning champions that drew the first blood in the 16th minute through Adam Yakubu but the Desert Scorpions equalised through impressive Abdulazeez Yusuf in the 37th minute from the penalty spot after an infringement in the visitors’ 18 yard box. It was Abdulazeez’s 10th goal of the season.

By the virtue of the draw, the Promise Keepers are in the seventh spot with 33 points while Gombe United are just below in eighth spot with 32 points.

At the Okigwe Stadium, Okigwe, Abia Warriors continued their erratic home form after Niger Tornadoes held them to a 1-1 draw. Paul Samson with the opening goal in the 37th minute. The Umuahia side paid for their lack of cutting edge in the final third when Augustine Njoku guided Tornadoes cross through Idris Munir into his net for the leveler in the 52nd minute.

Abia Warriors continued to be flirting with the relegation zone as a result of the home draw which leaves them in the 16th spot with 26 points but Ikon Allah Boys are two places above 27 points.

Shooting Stars ended their three game winless streak with a 3-0 thrashing of off form Lobi Stars at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan. Emmanuel Lucky weighed a brace in the third and 18th minutes before the icing on the cake through substitute, Ayo Adejubu in the 80th minute.

The three points take the Oluyole Warriors to the 11th spot with 30 points but the loss saw the Pride of Benue slip to the 18th spot with 23 points.

At the New Jos Stadium, Jos Nasarawa United came back from a goal down to secure a 1-1 draw with visiting, Remo Stars FC. It was the Sky Blue Stars that bagged the opening goal through Andy Okpe who benefitted from a good pass from Qudus Akanni in the 49th minute. The Solid Miners were on equal terms five minutes later through King Osanga deflected free kick.

The Solid Miners are 12th on the log with 29 points while Remo Stars are fourth with 37 points.

At the Godwill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Dakkada FC defeated Heartland FC, 2-1. Israel Emmanuel put the Chosen Ones in the ascendancy in the 28th minute before Aniekan Ekpe doubled the lead from the penalty kick in the 53rd minute after Jimoh Gbadamosi was adjudged to have handled the ball in his goal area. Monday Yakubu who was by far the club’s best player in their home draw with Remo Stars reduced the tally in the 64th minute after chipping the Dakkada FC goalkeeper.

Dakkada are in the 15th spot with 27 points while Heartland FC are still rooted to the bottom of the table with 21 points.
In a bad tempered game played at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano, Kano Pillars were held to a goalless draw by bitter rivals, Katsina United.

Fans loyal to Sai Masu Gida shaftsred the windscreen and the window glasses of the visitors in only the first game played in Kano in close to two seasons.

Kano Pillars are 13th on the log with 27 points but Katsina United are in 19th spot with 22 points.

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