NPFL Review: Rivers United finish as midseason champions: Enyimba, MFM pick vital away points

As we reached the halfway mark of the Nigeria Professional Football League 2021/22 season, Rivers United walloped Akwa United 4-1 to finish as first stanza champions.

Action continues in the NPFL

Plateau United followed up with a win of their own over Sunshine Stars, while Enyimba picked up a much-needed point at Bauchi against Wikki.

On the contrary, it was a weekend of goals in the topflight as Enugu Rangers scored five, Lobi Stars three, Remo Stars also hit three past Kwara United and Kano Pillars were also in the mood with their own treble.

The Pride of Rivers continued to show their superiority in the NPFL this season with a thumping 4-1 drubbing of defending champions Akwa United in Port-harcout.

It was an unforgettable evening for the visitors as Chijioke Akuneto notched a first-half hat-trick and top scorer Ishaq Rafiu scored his 11th goal of the campaign from the penalty spot in the one-sided encounter.

The consolation goal for Akwa United came from the boots of substitute Austin Osayande at the hour mark as they fell to yet another big defeat away from home.

A second-half blitz from the Sky Blue Stars saw them edge the Harmony boys at the the Remo Stars Stadium in Ikenne on Sunday.

After a subdued first-half that ended goalless, the home side came out better to put three past the visitors. Andy Okpe opened the scoring before Tolulope Ojo and Seun Ogunribide added to the goals to ensure they end the first stanza with a win.

Remo finished the first half of the season in fourth position, while Kwara United remained fifth.

Enugu Rangers began life at the Awka City stadium with a win over Lobi Stars in the goalfest.

Ossy Martins returned from injury to score twice in the opening half after Kenechukwu Agu had put Abdul Maikaba's side ahead from the spot after just ten minutes of play.

After the break, Chidiebere Nwobodo got his own goal before the Makurdi side pulled two goals back through Raphael Ayagwa (penalty) and Joshua Akhabue.

However, a second goal from Agu helped put the game beyond the visitors but there was still time for Douglas Achiv to reduce the deficit as the game ended in an eight-goal thriller.

Other results include;

Kano Pillars continued to enjoy life in Katsina as they defeated Gombe United 3-1. Ifeanyi Eze's brace and Rabiu Ali's late goal for Pillars came after Yusuf Abdulazeez's goal for Gombe United. In Owerri, Heartland and MFM played out a goalless draw.

Katsina United scored two away goals to nick their first away point of the season. Salisu Mustapha and Adebayo Waheed scored for the Changi Boys, while Valentine Odoh and Godwin Obaje scored for Imama Amapakabo's side.

Mohammed Zulkifilu and Haggai Katoh scored in either half to help Plateau United beat Sunshine Stars in Jos. In Bauchi, it finished goalless between Wikki and Enyimba.

Dakkada, through Edidiong Ezekiel and Sunday Akinmoladun's own goal, clinched a 2-1 win over Niger Tornadoes on Saturday. Sani Rabiu scored Tornadoes' only goal.

In the matchday's final game, Aniete Uko's deflected finish handed Shooting Stars all three points at the expense of Nasarawa United in Ibadan.

Heartland 0-0 MFM

Enugu Rangers 5-3 Lobi Stars

Abia Warriors 2-2 Katsina United

Dakkada 2-1 Niger Tornadoes

Shooting Stars 1-0 Nasarawa United

Wikki Tourists 0-0 Enyimba

Remo Stars 3-0 Kwara United

Plateau United 2-0 Sunshine Stars

Kano Pillars 3-1 Gombe United

Rivers United 4-1 Akwa United

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