Twenty-seven goals were scored in ten Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) games on Sunday as struggling sides Kano Pillars, Akwa United and Abia Warriors enjoyed crucial wins on Match Day six of the abridged league season.
There was only one away win this match day and it came in Nnewi where Abia Warriors defeated hitherto unbeaten FC Ifeanyiubah 2-1 in front of a capacity crowd. Ifeanyiubah went in front as early as the third minute thorough Emmanuel Ugwuka but Samson Obi levelled for the visitors on the dot of half time before Shedrack Asiegbu’s long range effort won it just before the hour mark. Warriors goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo saved an 83rd minute penalty to aid his team’s victory.
In the same group B, Akwa United won for the first time this season and it was a comprehensive 3-0 success over Go Round at the Nest of Champions in Uyo. There were already fears of another winless outing for the Promise Keepers when the first half ended goalless but midfielder Christopher Lolo gave Rafael Everton’s side the lead two minutes after the restart. Further strikes from homeboys Ndifreke Effiong 53′ and Ubong Friday 70′ sealed Akwa United’s first win after five matches.
Normalcy also returned in Kano where a first half blitz gave Kano Pillars a 3-0 win over Nasarawa United. Striker Adamu Hassan scored twice in the 20th and 34th minute with his goals sandwiched by defender Chinedu Sunday’s second goal of the season as the Solid Miners barely moved a foot all game.
Also in Group B, Heartland were made to sweat by newly promoted Kada City but the Naze Millionaires eventually moved back to top spot after winning a five-goal thriller 3-2 in Okigwe. Youngster Samuel Nnoshiri gave Heartland the lead in the 19th minute but Kada replied with two goals in six minutes through Sadiq Suleiman 28′ and Anayo Iwuala 33′. Veteran defender Papa Idris however put through to his own net to even scores for Heartland before Chinonso Okonkwo netted his third of the campaign to win it for Mehmet Tayfun’s side.
In the group’s other games, ageless Isiaka Olawale scored a second half penalty to give El-Kanemi Warriors a 2-1 win in the extreme North East derby in Maiduguri while Gombe United and Plateau United settled for a 0-0 draw at the Pantami Stadium in Gombe.
MFM FC moved to the top of Group A after a hard earned 1-0 win over Wikki Tourists in Lagos. Chijioke Akuneto’s 69th minute goal was enough for Fidelis Ilechukwu’s wards to leapfrog Rivers United who obediently lost 0-2 to former champions Enyimba in Aba.
Strikers Abdulrahman Bashir and Wasiu Alalade scored at the tail end of each half to end Rivers United’s unbeaten run of four matches.
In Katsina, Tasiu Lawal smashed in a brace as Katsina United walloped Niger Tornadoes 3-1. Martins Usule opened scoring for the hosts before Lawal’s double. Ghanaian winger Eric Frimpong scored a late consolation from the penalty spot for the visitors.
In Sunday’s final game, Kennedy Boboye and his Remo Stars troop succumbed to the superior fireworks of Sunshine Stars in Akure. Fuad Ekelojuoti headed the homers in front in the second minute but debutant Bright Akpojuvwewo, a former Sunshine player promptly levelled matters with his own header three minutes later. The win was sealed by a lifelong Sunshine Star Alaba Adeniyi who prodded home from a scramble in the 57th minute.
Match Day seven games will hold on Wednesday with continental representatives Lobi Stars and Rangers joining the rest.