Results from MatchDay 11 of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) didn’t alter the leadership status in both groups but it was Remo Stars, Abia Warriors and Niger Tornadoes that made significant gains on the log.
The midweek fixtures produced a total of 21 goals from nine matches played Wednesday evening with the top of Group B tie involving Rivers United and Lobi Stars postponed. The Port Harcourt side are involved in the CAF Confederation Cup away in Cote d’Ivoire.
The clash of leaders in group A between Bendel Insurance and Akwa United failed to produce a winner after both sides settled for a 1-1 draw in Benin.
Insurance were quickest off the block, taking the lead in the 2nd minute with in-form striker, Imade Osarenkhoe scoring. However Akwa United equalized before half time through Cyril Olisema in the 38th minute. Both teams created lots of chances but were unable to convert any as the game ended in a draw.
Insurance thus preserved their unbeaten run and also moved closer to securing a Championship Playoff spot. While Akwa United failed to avenge their season opening 2-0 crushing defeat at home to Insurance, they also have been displaced from the second position by Remo Stars, thanks to their 2-1 win away to El-Kanemi Warriors.
Remo Stars made it two wins from two in the second stanza of the season with goals from Andrew Okpe in 60th minute and captain Nduka Junior in 87th minute. For El Kanemi Warriors, it’s looking increasingly unlikely they will stay up in the NPFL next season staying eight points from safety and seven games to go.
In Aba, former Champions, Enyimba recorded a second draw on the trot and missed a chance to get back into the playoff spots after being held 1-1 by Nasarawa United.
Season’s leading scorer, Chukwuemeka Obioma converted a penalty in the 15th minute to give the NPFL record winners the lead but the Solid Miners equalized in the 75th minute to secure a vital point in its fight to avoid relegation.
Nasarawa United remain 9th in Group A, four points from safety while Enyimba are now down to fourth, one point from the playoff spots.
Shooting Stars Sporte Club (3SC) of Ibadan are up to 6th on the table after coming from a goal down to beat former champions Plateau United 3-2. Yakubu Adam put Plateau United in front in the 22nd minute but Samuel Ayorinde leveled for 3SC in the 43rd. Ayorinde got his brace in the 50th minute while Falke Ghali scored the third for the home side. Plateau United pulled one goal back as the match ended 3-2.
In the Savannah City of Gombe, Anayo Ogbonna scored the only goal in the 39th minute for the hosts, Gombe United to defeat Kwara United to move up to sixth on the log.
In group B, Abia Warriors completed the double over Enugu Rangers after a 2-1 win in the Oriental Derby. Jimoh Gbadamosi gave the Warriors the early lead when he converted a penalty in the 8th minute but veteran defender John Uche equalized for the Flying Antelopes in the 22nd minute and the match looked destined for a draw until Uche Odeh scored in the second minute of stoppage time to win all three points for the Umuahia side. Abia Warriors retained the third spot on the log, one point behind Lobi Stars and Rivers United who were not in action this mid week.
Meanwhile, Sunshine Stars missed a great chance to move into the playoff spots after being held to a 1-1 draw by Doma United in Akure. The Stars took the lead in the 14th minute but it lasted 60 seconds as Doma restored parity through Pascal Nwabueze.
Niger Tornadoes are up to fourth on the log after 2-0 victory over Wikki Tourists. David Okouromi gave Tornadoes the lead in the 22nd minute while Mark Daniel sealed the win with a second half stoppage time goal. Tornadoes are level on points with Abia Warriors on 18 points but are not in the playoff spots due to inferior goal difference. Wikki on its part have slipped into the relegation zone, and are 9th on the standings.
Finally in Group B, Bayelsa United moved out of the relegation zone after a 1-1 draw with Dakkada in Uyo. The Group B leading scorer, Robert Mizo put Bayelsa ahead in the 4th minute but Mmekut Udosen equalized for Dakkada. It was though, not enough to change their place at the bottom of the table on 8 points.
NPFL MatchDay 11 Results
Enyimba 1-1 Nasarawa Utd
Insurance 1-1 Akwa Utd
3SC 3-2 Plateau Utd
Gombe Utd 1-0 Kwara Utd
El-Kanemi 1-2 Remo Stars
Dakkada 1-1 Bayelsa Utd
Tornadoes 2-0 Wikki
Sunshine Stars 1-1 Doma Utd
Abia Warriors 2-1 Rangers