After suffering defeats at the start of this season’s Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), former champions, Akwa United and Lobi Stars, continued their resurgence with crucial wins on Sunday afternoon while Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) dug deep to record their first win of the season.
Playing at the Eket Stadium in the day’s first game, Akwa United were made to earn their pay by an impressive Plateau United side who seemed to be more tuned to the synthetic turf than their hosts. Deji Ayeni’s Akwa however nicked it eight minutes from time through left-back James Ajako’s superb volley.
Also in Group A, Enyimba FC returned to winning ways with a 3-0 hammering of hapless Kwara United at the Enyimba Stadium in Aba. Two quick-fire goals from Emeka Obioma and Ademola Adebambo gave the hosts a healthy advantage in the first half before Obioma got his brace midway through the second for a convincing scoreline.
At the Pantami Stadium in Gombe, hosts Gombe United continued their winless start to the season as they forced Nasarawa United to a 1-1 draw. Nasarawa who are also yet to win went in front in the first half through Chinedu Ohanachom but a last-gasp penalty kick by Taye Yusuf earned ten-man Gombe a share of the spoils.
While both Gombe and Nasarawa remained without wins, respite eventually came the way of 3SC as Gbenga Ogunbote’s wards defeated El-Kanemi Warriors 1-0 at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan for their first win of the season. Samuel Tiza provided the solitary goal twelve minutes from time.
In Group B, Lobi Stars moved to second on the log after a resounding 3-0 win over Bayelsa United in Jos. After over an hour of football, the revelation of the season Kumaga Suur broke the deadlock in the 67th minute before getting his brace ten minutes later. Experienced forward, Abba Umar then put the icing on the cake in the 84th minute.
There were two draws in the group on Sunday. Niger Tornadoes were held 0-0 by Rangers in Kaduna while the North Eastern derby between Wikki Tourists and Doma United also ended goalless. In Akure, Samson Olasupo’s goal was the difference between Sunshine Stars and Abia Warriors as the hosts recorded their first win of the campaign.
Two games were decided on Saturday, one in each group. Bendel Insurance affirmed their supremacy in Group A with a 3-0 drubbing of Remo Stars with Imade Osarenkhoe on target again while reigning champions Rivers United also held on to the top spot in Group B with a 1-2 away win at Dakkada FC.
Match Day 5 action comes up on Wednesday.
Match Day 4 Results:
Akwa United 1-0 Plateau Utd
Enyimba 3-0 Kwara United
Shooting Stars 1-0 El-Kanemi
Gombe United 1-1 Nasarawa United
Bendel Insurance 3-0 Remo Stars
Lobi Stars 3-0 Bayelsa Utd
Niger Tornadoes 0-0 Rangers int’l
Sunshine Stars 1-0 Abia Warriors
Wikki Tourists 0- 0 Doma United
Dakkada FC 1-2 Rivers United