The Nigeria Professional Football League 2021/22 season returned this weekend as Akwa United and Rivers United shared the spoils in the matchday’s first game on Saturday.
Akwa United, under the tutelage of new manager Deji Ayeni, rallied back from a goal down via Etim Mathew’s own goal to secure a point against the league leaders. Debutant Adeyeye Adeyemi got on the end of Mathew’s cross to level matters just two minutes after the break.
In Jos, second-half goals from mid-season recruit Adamu Hassan and Shammasu Mohammed handed Nasarawa United all three points against Shooting Stars to ease some pressure off under-fire manager Bala Nikyu on Sunday. Meanwhile, Barnabas Daniel’s 65th-minute penalty led Gombe United to a 1-0 win over Kano Pillars in Gombe.
Plateau United‘s 11-game unbeaten run got snapped by Sunshine Stars in Ijebu Ode. Kola Adeniji scored the game’s only goal in the 78th minute as Niger Tornadoes‘ Jonas Emmanuel scored a wonderful goal against Dakkada to lead the Ikon Allah boys back to winning ways in Kaduna.
Lagos side MFM managed to beat Heartland in the relegation six-pointer played at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos. Exciting winger Micah Ojodomo guided home a low cross from Richie Eguavoen to help the Olukoya boys move off the 20th spot for the first time since matchday six.
Abel James’ debut goal Victor Mbaoma’s sixth of the campaign handed Finidi George and Enyimba a winning start to the second stanza by beating Wikki Tourists 2-0 in Aba. Lobi Stars defeated Enugu Rangers 2-0 to begin life under new gaffer Mohammed Baba Ganaru at the Aper Aku Stadium. Raphael Ayagwa and Godfrey Utim with the goals for the Makurdi side.
In the battle of the surprise packages on Sunday, Kwara United came from a goal down to beat Remo Stars in Ilorin. Haruna Hadi gave Gbenga Ogunbote’s men the lead before Kabir Balogun leveled on the stroke of halftime for the hosts. Balogun then turned provider in the 75th minute when his cross found the head of Samad Kadiri to complete the turnaround.
Akwa United 1-1 Rivers United
Sunshine Stars 1-0 Plateau United
Lobi Stars 2-0 Enugu Rangers
Niger Tornadoes 1-0 Dakkada
Nasarawa United 2-0 Shooting Stars
Enyimba 2-0 Wikki Tourists
Gombe United 1-0 Kano Pillars
MFM 1-0 Heartland
Kwara United 2-1 MFM
Katsina United p-p Abia Warriors