NPFL Round 12 Group A review
After a little break, teams across the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) continued with the regular season.
Bendel Insurance welcomed Group A leaders MFM at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City. A single goal settle the match for the home side for what is only their second win this season. Kingsley Onovo scored the decider in the 16th minute.
The visitors remain at the top spot but now by only three points from Enyimba. Bendel move up to 10th place in the table.
Wikki Tourist travelled to Port Harcourt to take on Rivers United at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium. After finally winning in the last round, at home against Rivers, the visitors were hoping to steal a win away from home too.
All the action happened in the first half. Saidu Abdullahi scored the opener for Wikki in the 17th minute. Six minutes later they doubled their lead through Hassan Musa. The home side responded and pulled a goal back in the 37th minute. Ossy Martins was the scorer.
Rivers United tried to get back into the game but the Giant Elephants held on to win 2:1 pulling a double over their opponents. Wikki Tourist move up to fifth and overtake United in the standings while they drop to ninth.
Niger Tornadoes met with Lobi Stars in the first of the back-to-back games they contested in the space of four days. It was the home side who scored the first goal after Mohammed Aliyu successfully converted a penalty kick in the 35th minute.
Aliyu scored his second three minutes after the restart giving his team a 2:0 lead. But Lobi Stars came back to equalize with two goals from Samad Kediri, in the 52nd and 58th minute. The final score was 2:2.
Two teams met again three days later for a return fixture at the home of Lobi Stars. Once again it was the Niger Tornadoes who opened the scoring in the 9th minute through Mustapha Jibrin. In the dying seconds of the first half the referee awarded the home side a penalty and gave Mohammed Hosseini a yellow card for the foul. Yaya Kone had no problem scoring from the spot taking the side into the break level.
The second half was a tight affair before Mohammed Aliyu scored for the visitors in the 82nd minute. Right on the 90 minutes Hosseini was booked again and had to go leaving the Tornadoes with just ten men on the field. With time running out, Michael Stephen stunned everyone with a goal in the 4th minute of stoppage time. The game finished with another 2:2 draw.
Kwara played hosts to Katsina United after the lost the away fixture only seven days ago. This time they came out on top of a very tight match with a 1:0 win. Segun Alebiosu scored in the first half to secure the victory. Kwara lay in 6th place while Katsina are 7th, just a point behind.
Enyimba were looking to continue their unbeaten against Sunshine Stars in Aba. And they were 1:0 up in the 29th minute after a Dave Olatunji goal.
On the 70 minutes mark, the hosts were awarded a penalty which Ifeanyi Anaemena scored with ease. Abia Abia managed a consolation goal for the Stars in the 75th minute but Enyimba held on to win. They are now just three points from the top of Group A while Sunshine Stars drop to 8th place.
Enugu Rangers carried on with their impressive run of results with a powerful display against Remo Stars at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium. Even though they went a goal down in the 8th minute of the game, the hosts recovered to score five.
Bright Akpojuwewo was the scorer for Remo. Ifeanyi George started the Enugu comeback in the 36th minute, before Godwin Aguda completed the score turnaround in the 45th minute. Aguda scored again 4 minutes into the restart and Ibrahim Ajani added a fourth in the 60th minute.
The Rangers scored two more goals before the game ended. The first one was an own goal by Ezeh Chider. Then, just before the final whistle, Michael Uchebo made it 5:2 for the home side. They are now third in the table, level on points with Lobi Stars in fourth. Both are three points off second place. Enugu Rangers are still five games behind the leaders MFM. Remo Stars are down in 11th place.