NPFL

Review: Rivers United regain top spot, Remo Stars suffer third successive defeat

As we close in on the end of the first stanza of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) 2021/22 season, Rivers United edged fellow contenders Enugu Rangers to regain top-spot - pending the time Plateau United play their own game on Wednesday.

Action continued in the NPFL this week

Remo Stars’ free-fall continued in Makurdi, Shooting Stars failed to capitalize in their home game, while MFM picked a valuable point in Aba. Sunshine Stars returned to winning ways with a win over Kwara United.

Resurgent Heartland extended their unbeaten run under Erasmus Onuh to four games as they managed to nick a point off Katsina United in Katsina.

In the game involving the top sides in the division this term, Rivers United came out as winners in the keenly contested game in Port-Harcourt.

As expected, the game was cagey as both teams held their lines in the opening exchanges. However, there would be no goals after the first half of football as chances were few between the two teams.

It was not surprising that the only goal of the game came from a set-piece situation. Morice Chukwu’s effort from the edge of the area came off the woodwork before Chijioke Akuneto reacted quickly to set up former Pillars striker Nyima Nwagua mid-way through the second half.

The win took Rivers United top for the moment, while Rangers remain third on the log.

Nasarawa United returned to winning ways by ending Tornadoes’ four game unbeaten streak in Lafia on Monday.

After failing to record a win in their past three games, a win became imperative in this game for the Solid Miners and they came out fighting hard against their North Central neighbours. With just 23minutes into the game, Chijioke Alakwe headed home a cross from Michael Tochukwu to hand the home side the lead.

After the break, much did not happen as the home side were resolute at the back to clinch their fifth home win of the season.

The Qua Iboe Derby ended in a 3-2 win for the Promise Keepers at the magnificent Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Sunday.

It was a goal-fest between the two Akwa Ibom based sides as the defending champions made it two wins on the bounce. The visitors in this encounter drew first blood through Femi Ajayi before Samuel Amadi levelled from the spot moments later.

After the break, it was the home side that took the initiative as they scored two quick goals through Wisdom Fernando and Ezekiel Bassey, but there was still time for Ezekiel Edidiong to find another goal for the Chosens.

It was the Promise Keepers’ third win in the past five meetings between the two sides and they currently sit fourth on the NPFL log Dakkada find themselves in the bottom four.

Crisis-hit Lobi Stars managed to put in a decent display in order to inflict a third successive defeat of the season on Remo Stars on Monday.

The Pride of Benue have been struggling before this particular fixture, while the Sky Blue Stars, after an unbeaten start to the campaign, have been experiencing a free fall and were determined to put an end to that.

Gabriel Wassa scored the only goal of the game in the 20th minute to heap more pressure on Gbenga Ogunbote and his men. The result did not affect the position of the Ikenne side but Eddy Dombraye’s men moved up to 12th.

Other games include;

Shooting Stars and Wikki Tourists played out a goalless draw in Ibadan. On Saturday, Enyimba’s struggle at home continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom side MFM. Victor Mbaoma opened the coring for the former champions before Chukwudi Ekeocha equalized for the Lagos side as all of these happened in the opening quarter of the game.

Faisal Sani’s opener for Katsina United was cancelled out by Heartland’s Jonas Emmanuel as both sides settled for a share of the spoils. In Ijebu Ode, a 48-second strike from Taofeek Abdul earned Sunshine Stars all three points against Kwara United.

Kano Pillars won for the first time in five games as they beat Abia Warriors 2-1 in Kaduna. Kalu Nweke opened the scoring for the visitors before Salisu Saidu equalized minutes later and after the break, defender Abdullahi Musa completed the turnaround for Salisu Yusuf’s side.

Last game of the matchday between Gombe United and Plateau United will hold on Wednesday in Gombe.

RESULTS

Saturday

Enyimba 1-1 MFM

Sunday

Shooting Stars 0-0 Wikki Tourists

Rivers United 1-0 Enugu Rangers

Sunshine Stars 1-0 Kwara United

Akwa United 3-2 Dakkada

Monday

Lobi Stars 1-0 Remo Stars

Katsina United 1-1 Heartland

Nasarawa United 1-0 Niger Tornadoes

Kano Pillars 2-1 Abia Warriors

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