Anthony Okpotu’s third hattrick of the season was the highlight of NPFL Match Day 35 games on a day only MFM FC won out of the top six teams in the division.
Leaders Plateau United had their lead on top of the table halved after going down to relegation haunted ABS in Ilorin, snapping their five-game unbeaten run in the process.
MFM FC 1-0 Gombe United
The Church Boys moved within three points of leaders Plateau courtesy of defender Monsuru Bashiru’s 21st minute goal. Fidelis Ilechukwu’s men were without their inspirational duo of Stephen Odey and Sikiru Olatunbosun but it did not matter as they held on for victory in Lagos.
ABS FC 2-0 Plateau United
The leaders went down to a resolute ABS side in Ilorin who eased made the most of a fast start in Ilorin to ease their relegation worries.
Midfielder Samuel Oyediji scored from the spot after five minutes before Wasiu Alalade doubled their lead midway through the second half. ABS however remain in the 18th spot on 46 points, same as 17th placed Shooting Stars and 16th placed Katsina United
FC Ifeanyiubah 1-0 Akwa United
Hosts Ifeanyiubah beat ten-man Akwa United in Nnewi to move 5th on the log with 53 points.
Utility star Chigozie Chilekwu was sent off for a second bookable offence four minutes before the break before his team went behind two minutes after the break. King Osanga bent home a free kick to hand the Anambra Warriors maximum points, one behind Akwa United who still stay on 3rd spot.
Rivers United 2-1 Enyimba
United won successive games for the first time this season in this hard-fought win over former Champions Enyimba.
The hosts went in front on four minutes courtesy of Bernard Ovoke’s free kick although Enyimba goalkeeper Fatau Dauda was impeded in the build-up. Malian Abdoulaye Kanoute scored his side’s second on 29 minutes before Franco Atchou halved the deficit five minutes later.
Kano Pillars 2-0 Abia Warriors
CHAN Super Eagles star Rabiu Ali started a second football game within 24 hours of each other as he inspired Pillars to victory over Abia Warriors.
Ali scored his team’s second goal after Nyima Nwagua had given them the lead at the Sani Abacha Stadium.
Rangers 2-1 Katsina United
Champions Rangers moved further clear of the relegation zone after a hard-fought win over Katsina United in Enugu.
Chibuzor Madu gave Rangers a 38th minute lead but Katsina replied through Timothy Danladi’s spot kick on the dot of half time. Christian Madu however scored the winner ten minutes after the restart when he headed home Chinedu Udeagha’s free kick.
Shooting Stars 2-0 Nasarawa United
3SC laboured for an hour of their game against Nasarawa United in Ibadan but eventually went home smiling after two goals in the second half.
Defender Alaba Osawe scored the opener on the hour mark before Abayomi Adebayo sealed the victory for the Oluyole Warriors.
Lobi Stars 3-2 El-Kanemi
Anthony Okpotu’s hattrick took him to 17 league goals, one behind topscorer Stephen Odey. Okpotu scored twice in the first half before completing his hattrick seconds into the second half.
Abraham Audu and Ibrahim Babangida scored for Ladan Bosso’s men who had Chibuzor Okonkwo sent off in the game.
Wikki Tourists 2-0 Remo Stars
Tourists moved one point clear of the relegation zone after a comfortable victory over relegated Remo Stars in Bauchi.
Striker Chinedu Onyelonu’s first half penalty set Bala Nikyu’s men on road to victory before Richard Jonathan provided icing on the cake in stoppage time.
Sunshine Stars 2-1 Niger Tornadoes
Duke Udi’s Stars moved further up the ladder after Sunday’s victory in Ijebu-Ode.
Kehinde Adedipe and Ajibola Otegbeye scored for Sunshine Stars before Wilfired Ammeh gave Tornadoes some ray of hopes fifteen minutes from time. The hosts hung on though to move up to 12th on the log, one place ahead of their opponents with both sides on 48 points.