Violence gives NPL another black eye
Matchday 22 of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) was marred by pockets of violence in Bauchi, Hadejia and Gombe as 19 goals were recorded from nine games.
But it was Kano Pillars that kept their table-topping position for another week after winning at home.
Wikki Tourists 1 – 1 Enugu Rangers
In a game punctuated by stoppages due to crowd trouble, Okey Emordi’s men were just seconds away from securing all the points on the road against the Tourists after going in front through an Emenike Onuoha own goal just four minutes before the hour mark. A late penalty converted by Mustapha Ibrahim denied the Flying Antelopes the chance to go top as they remain in second place with 34 points while Wikki are just two points behind them in seventh place.
Enyimba 2 – 0 Kwara United
It was a composed performance from six-time Nigerian champions, Enyimba as they got a goal in each half from Babington Fabiyi and attacking winger, Henry Uche to stay third on same points with Enugu Rangers but two behind leaders, Kano Pillars. Kwara United are on 25 points and a place above the drop zone.
Akwa United 2 – 1 Lobi Stars
The Promise Keepers continued to show why they are the strongest of the four promoted sides this term with a 2 – 1 win in Uyo. Ubong Ekpai’s brace sandwiched by David Tyavkase’s goal was enough to earn the hosts the points that took their total haul on the table to 33 and Lobi Stars are on 30 points.
Ocean Boys 1 – 0 Niger Tornadoes
Ebitimi Agogo’s goal from the spot was all 2006 champions, Ocean Boys needed to take the points off a battling Niger Tornadoes in this game. But this win has failed to lift Ocean Boys, who are on 25 points, out of the bottom four. Tornadoes are second from bottom on 22 points.
Kaduna United 1 – 1 Dolphins
Johnson Olewezi’s goal at the death of this game made sure that the champions, Dolphins remained in the top four after Kaduna United had taken the lead on 57 minutes through Emma Ambrose. Dolphins are tied on 34 points with Rangers and Enyimba, who have superior goals difference. Kaduna United occupy fourth from bottom position on 25 points.
Jigawa Golden Stars 2 – 1 Sharks
Influential attacking midfielder of the Golden Stars, Bala Mohammed scored on 24 minutes and Hope Fiberesima put Sharks on level terms before John Paul got the winner that has lifted Evans Ogenyi’s side two points off the relegation line. Sharks are now in tenth place on 30 points.
Kano Pillars 2 – 1 Rising Stars
Rising Stars made the table-toppers to work hard for all points in this clash in the packed Sani Abacha Stadium on Wednesday. Buhari Musa set the tone for Pillars in the 64th minute after a goalless first 45-minute but Femi Ojo equalised for Rising Stars with 12 minutes to time. It was, however, the impressive Rabiu Ali that condemned all the hard work of the away side with an 82nd minute goal to hand Pillars a 2 – 1 lead. Rising Stars remain bottom of the standings with 21 points.
Gombe United 2 – 1 3SC
This game was tainted by fans problem as 3SC striker, Raheem Owolabi was allegedly stabbed in the arm by angry fans of the hosts, Gombe United. Mathias Samuel shot the Desert Scorpions in front ten minutes before the break but 3SC new boy, Tony Edjomariegwe got the Oluyole Warriors back into the game. Substitute, Haruna Babalo,who returned from a loan spell at Akwa United, scored the winner on 84 minutes amid controversial circumstance. 3SC are one point above safety while Gombe United are in the top six on 32 points.