The much publicised Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) top-of-the-table clash between Remo Stars and Rivers United ended all square as both teams preserved their unbeaten start to the season and also their positions at the summit of the table.
Hosts Remo went in front in the 10th minute through top striker Andy Okpe (his 4th of the season) but United levelled matters two minutes before the break through Chijioke Akuneto after a horrendous gaffe by Remo goalkeeper Kayode Bankole.
The result leaves both sides with nineteen points from nine matches and in the top two positions in the league, three points above third place Enyimba who beat Katsina United 2-1 in Aba on Saturday.
Reigning champions Akwa United returned to winning ways with a resolute performance in Abuja against hosts Niger Tornadoes. In a game that witnessed plenty of missed chances, new signing Leo Ezekiel scored the only goal in the 69th minute to give Kennedy Boboye some respite.
Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan were another side that enjoyed away success on Match Day 9 as they compounded the woes of MFM FC, inflicting a 0-1 defeat on the Lagos based side. Midfielder Dare Olatunji scored what turned out to be the only goal of the game in the sixth minute with MFM failing to provide a response at the Teslim Balogun Stadium. It was MFM’s third home loss of the season and 3SC’s first away win in the NPFL in six years.
Former league topscorer Junior Lokosa scored for Kwara United in their 2-0 triumph over Gombe United in Ilorin. Lokosa’s strike in the 36th minute was the first of two by Kwara within three minutes as Alao Danbani added a second two minutes later. The win returns Kwara to the top half half of the table.
In Jos, Albert Hilary scored within seconds of coming on for Plateau United in their 1-0 win over Abia Warriors at the Zaria Road Stadium. The win keeps Fidelis Ilechukwu’s side in the top five bracket in the league after nine matches.
In Bauchi, two former Nasarawa United players contrived to punish their former employers as Wikki Tourists spanked the Solid Miners 2-0 at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium. Experienced Abubakar Aliyu (33′) and Anas Yusuf (69′) scored the goals that gave Kabiru Dogo, also a former Nasarawa coach the maximum points against the side now coached by former Wikki coach Bala Nikyu.
The only game that failed to produce a goal on Match Day 9 was in Benin City where Rangers International played out a 0-0 draw with Dakkada FC at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium. The game marks Dakkada’s third game at the venue where they were banished to after some crowd disturbance earlier in the season.
Match Day 10 action will hold this Wednesday and Thursday in all ten centres across the country.
Match Day 9 Results
Enyimba 2-1 Katsina United
Sunshine Stars 3-0 Lobi Stars
Heartland 0-1 Kano Pillars
Niger Tornadoes 0-1 Akwa United
Kwara Utd 2-0 Gombe United
MFM FC 0-1 3SC
Remo Stars 1-1 Rivers United
Dakkada 0-0 Rangers Int’l
Plateau Utd 1-0 Abia Warriors
Wikki Tourists 2-0 Nasarawa United
Picture credit: Pooja Media Comms