The 2017/18 Nigeria Professional Football League season enter Matchday 17 this weekend with six matches scheduled to take place on Sunday. For the last time before the end of the first stanza, four games are rescheduled due to continental engagements of the country’s representatives.
The top two teams: Lobi Stars and Kano Pilars have their games postponed but third placed Katsina United and Niger Tornadoes, shockingly in fifth spot are the only Top 5 teams in action this weekend, hoping to consolidate on their surreal positions in tricky away fixtures.
Katsina United travel to Umuahia as head coach Abdullahi Biffo makes a return to his former club Abia Warriors while Tornadoes will be guests of Premier League new boys Go-Round on Sunday – a team hovering just above the red zone but boasting of a good home record.
Ngozi Elechi’s Go-Round have dropped points just twice at home this season, winning the other matches by the odd margin. Their resilience is highlighted in their last home game when they fought from 2-0 down to rescue a point against Rangers.
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Tornadoes have been the surprise team of the division since Hamza Abara took over on February 20 from the relieved Erasmus Onuh Olottah who left the club in the relegation zone. The turnaround has been remarkable with Tornadoes on a six-game unbeaten run which has catapulted the side to fifth spot.
Tornadoes reliable defender Reuben Ogbonnaya told www.aclsports.com the new coach has the full credit for their turnaround in fortunes.
“I’ll say it is the team spirit that we have together now. There’s freedom and joy to work.
“The coach has given that liberty to everyone. No one is under any sort of pressure and no one is afraid to make mistakes,” said the former Kano Pillars star.
Sunday’s game at the KrisDera Hotel Stadium in Omoku comes on a day foremost Sports journalist and blogger China Acheru is celebrating a milestone of having watched 1,000 official games at a football stadium.
Acheru now works as Media Chief and Head of Marketing at the modest club from the oil-rich region of Rivers state and he will surely hope the Ikon Allah Boys from Minna do not act as party-poopers on the day.
Match Day 17 Fixtures
Go Round vs Niger Tornadoes
Rangers vs Kwara United
Abia Warriors vs Katsina United
Sunshine Stars vs Wikki Tourists
El-Kanemi W. vs Heartland
Rivers United vs Nasarawa United