NPFL: Rangers Pip Heartland To Secure Vital Away Win In Oriental Derby, Abia Warriors End Champions Plateau Utd Unbeaten Run
By Tunji Balogun
Former champions Rangers International recorded first victory in their match-day three of the ongoing Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) following their 0-1 win against newly promoted Heartland FC in the Oriental Derby clash decided at the Dan Anyiam Stadium on Sunday.
Bright Silas scored the only goal that separated both the Naze Millionaires and the Flying Antelopes quite early after 10 minutes into the epic encounter. Lucky Emariojake missed a penalty kick after the referee awarded penalty in the 44th minute.
Abia Warriors handed champions Plateau United their first defeat of the season with the 1-0 loss at the Umuahia Township Stadium. Chinedu Ozor scored the only goal that made the difference less than two minutes into the game.
Rivers United bounced back from their midweek defeat suffered in the hands of Plateau United with a 2-1 win against former champions Plateau United at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt. Bamba Bakari put the hosts in front in the 19th minute, Junior Lokosa equalized for the Masu Gida in the 31st minute, before Ivorian forward Guy Keumian made it 2-1 in the 56th minute.
Nasarawa United confirmed their supremacy over visiting Sunshine Stars International at the Lafia City Stadium with a resounding 2-0 win. Douglas Achiv opened scoring in the first half, before Ishaya Anyu doubled the lead from a rebound to end the game 2-0 at full time.
Akwa United defeated newly arrival side Yobe Stars 2-0 at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium. New signing Victor Mbaoma opened his goal account in the colours of the Promise Keepers in the 30th minute, Michael Ibe made it 2-0 in the 32nd minute of the clash.
Katsina United defeated Enyimba 2-0 in another thrilling encounter, while Lobi Stars returned to winning ways at the Aper Aku Stadium with a 1-0 win against newly promoted Go Round FC. Samad Kadiri grabbed the decisive goal for Lobi in the 32nd minute.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah defeated 10-man Kwara United FC 2-0 to compound the woes of the Harmony Boys in the current campaign. Godwin Obaje headed the Anambra Warriors in front in the first half, Ekene Awazie added the second in the 63rd minute, before Sunday Uchechukwu bagged a red card late in the 83rd minute as the John Obuh tutored sided ended the game with 10-men.
El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri defeated Mountain of Fire and Miracles (MFM) FC 3-1 in Maiduguri. Striker Bello Kofarmata opened the floor for goals in the 59th minute, Ocheme Edoh extended the lead in the 63rd minute. Adekunle Adegboyega reduced the deficit for the Olukoya Boys with a solo effort in the 76th minute, before Sunday Anthony completed the rout for El-Kanemi late in the 89th minute.
Elsewhere at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Wikki Tourists FC defeated visiting Niger Tornadoes 1-0. Mustapha Ibrahim grabbed the only goal that made the difference in the 60th minute.
NPFL Matchday 3 Results:
FCIU 2-0 Kwara Utd
Wikki 1-0 Tornadoes
Akwa Utd 2-0 Yobe Stars
Lobi 1-0 Go Round
Heartland 0-1 Rangers
Katsina Utd 2-0 Enyimba
Nasarawa Utd 2-0 Sunshine Stars
Rivers Utd 2-1 Kano Pillars
Abia Warriors 1-0 Plateau Utd
El-Kanemi 3-1 MFM