NPFL Round 17 Group B Review
The Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) returned this weekend with all the Group B teams in action. Interestingly, there was only one draw while in the other five encounters home teams won.
El-Kanemi Warriors needed a win going into the encounter with Go Round in Maiduguri to keep up with Akwa United at the top of the table. And they were off to a good start when Anthony Sunday scored in the 18th minute. But the lead didn’t last for long. Chidubem Nwogbaba equalized for the visitors just short of the half-hour mark.
Two minutes into the second half Jamui Alimi restored the lead for the home team only for it to be cancelled again eight minutes later by Stanley Worlu. His goal was the final one of the match making the score a 2:2 draw.
The El-Kanemi Warriors drop to third place in the standings while Go Round stay sixth for now.
Kano Pillars needed a single goal in the match against Plateau United to win and jump up to fourth in the table. Ibrahim Alhassan scored in the 20th minute of the game to secure the victory. The visitors suffered a third defeat in the last five matches which moves them down to 10th place in Group B standings.
The crowd at the FC Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium in Nnewi went home happy with the bounce-back win against Delta Force on Sunday. The hosts were 1:0 up early after they were awarded a penalty seven minutes from kick-off. Uche Ihuarulam converted the penalty kick. Midway through the first half, the visitors levelled the score through Emmanuel Nnamani.
The second half belonged to the home team as they reasserted themselves and eventually scored a winner in the 78th minute. Chidi Madu was the lucky scorer. With this win, FC Ifeanyi move back up to second in the table with Delta Force dropping to 8th place.
Heartland welcomed the bottom of the table Yobe Stars at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri. The visitors were easy pickings as the hosts cruised to victory with two second-half goals. Otop Eta Okon scored the opener in the 56th minute with Yobe Stars’ Moses Yanmar putting the ball in his own net to make the final score 2:0 on the 90-minute mark.
Yobe Stars stay rooted to the bottom of the table while Heartland jumped a couple of places up to seventh in the standings.
Gombe Stars move away from the bottom two places in the table with an important win over Abia Warriors at the Pantami Stadium. One goal was enough to settle the match in their favour. It was Yusuff Abdulazeez who scored the decider in the 73rd minute.
The visitors remain in 11th place while Gombe is now up in 9th place in the table after three wins in the last five match and just a single defeat.
In the last match of this round, Akwa United played hosts to Nasarawa United at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo. The hosts suffered an early setback after Thomas Adesina scored for the visitors in the 14th minute.
Close to the break, the game turned on its head. First, the home team was awarded a penalty which Akwa’s top scorer this year Mfon Udoh easily converted for his 9th goal of the season. Then, right before the end of the first half, Etboy Akpan scored what would turn out to be a winner, two minutes into stoppage time.
The second half was goalless. With this victory, Akwa United moved back to the top of Group B, while Nasarawa United stay fifth thanks to a superior goal difference.
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