Defending Nigeria Professional Football League champions Plateau United opened their title defence with a last gasp away win at North Central rivals Nasarawa United on Sunday.
Midfielder Raphael Ayagwa scored from close range three minutes from time to give Kennedy Boboye’s side a dream start to the 2017/18 league season at the Lafia City Stadium.
Last season’s AITEO Cup beaten finalists Niger Tornadoes were the other big winners on Match Day One after an impressive 2-0 win at newly promoted Kwara United. New signing Eric Frimpong and Ibrahim Babawo with the goals in either half.
Abia Warriors are the league leaders on Match Day One based on alphabetical considerations after Ndifreke Effiong scored twice to give them a 2-0 win over Lagos side MFM FC in Umuahia.
In Uyo, towering midfielder Kelly Kester marked his Akwa United debut with a goal as his side spanked Rangers 2-0 in Sunday’s televised game. Kester’s sumptuous strike in the 40th minute was followed by another spectacular effort by debutant Dennis Nya in the 67th minute.
Another 67th minute strike provided the winner in Port Harcourt where Rivers United edged El-Kanemi Warriors 1-0. Ivorian Guy Keumian scored the game’s only goal for Stanley Eguma’s side.
In Nnewi, FC Ifeanyiubah overcame a dogged Yobe Stars to start the season on a winning note. Godwin Obaje gave Ifeanyiubah a 37th minute lead but Chinedu Ohanachom replied for the newly promoted visitors just after the hour mark. Former 3SC star Shola Adeboye then scored what turned out to be the winner for the hosts on 73 minutes.
In Jos, Go-Round FC lost their first ever top flight game when they went down to Wikki Tourists at the new stadium in Zaria road, Jos. Former Kano Pillars star Nafiu Kabuga scored in the 40th minute to give Wikki a 1-0 win over Ngozi Elechi’s side.
There were three stalemates on the opening weekend of Nigerian football league including a dramatic 2-2 draw between hosts Katsina United and Kano Pillars in the opening game on Saturday.
United were made to battle back twice in the game before rescuing the draw. Junior Lokosa scored the season’s curtain raiser on 33 minutes for Pillars but defender Chinedu Ajanah pulled the hosts level in first half stoppage time.
Midfielder Alassan Ibrahim restored Pillars lead midway through the second half with an audacious effort from 35 yards but Destiny Ashadi ensured the hosts get a point through his stoppage time penalty.
Heartland FC’s return to the top flight league began on a rather unwelcoming note after they were held to a goalless draw by Sunshine Stars in Owerri. Sunshine goalkeeper Henry Ayodele posted a man-of-the-match display to deny the visitors full marks.
In Makurdi, former champions Enyimba held Lobi Stars 1-1 in a somber Aper Aku Stadium. New recruit Chinedu Udeagha gave Paul Aigbogun’s men a first half lead but winger Ezekiel Mbah levelled scores from the penalty spot on 65 minutes.
Match Day Two games take place on Wednesday