Second placed Plateau United on Sunday secured a 3-1 win over Wikki Tourists in Jos to reduce Rivers United’s cushion at the summit of the table to four points. Plateau’s win was one of five home wins recorded out of the six Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) MatchDay 28 games decided on Sunday.
With league leaders Rivers United’s failure to extend their lead on Saturday, Plateau United knew only a home win over Wikki would put them back in contention and they got just that courtesy of two goals by Jesse Akila who started and ended scoring at the Zaria Road Stadium. Defender Buhari Ibrahim also scored his sixth goal of the season for Fidelis Ilechukwu’s men while Ridwan Adesina netted for Wikki.
The gap between Plateau in second and the third placed side got widened to eight points after Remo Stars edged Rangers International 1-0 in Ikenne. Sikiru Alimi’s header four minutes before the break gave Gbenga Ogunbote side the crucial three points against their direct rivals for the highly coveted third place.
Moving to fifth on the log is Kwara United who spanked neighbours Shooting Stars 3-1 at the Ilorin Township Stadium. In the game played behind closed doors, Samad Kadiri gave the hosts the lead in the 38th minute before Issa Gata (60′) and former Shooting Star Ayobami Junior (68′) took the game beyond the visitors. Opeoluwa Olufemi got the scant consolation for 3SC in stoppage time.
Katsina United continued to give themselves hope in the race to avoid the dreaded drop when they beat Nasarawa United 1-0 in Katsina. Winger Waheed Adebayo scored what turned out to be the only goal of the game in the 23rd minute to lift Usman Abd’Allah’s side out of the relegation zone.
In Sunday’s early game, bottom of the table MFM FC defeated Kano Pillars 2-1 in Ijebu-Ode to also give themselves some hope against hope. Tunde Azeez and Oladayo Alabi scored either side of Jerry Alex’s goal for the Sai Masu Gida who remain 19th on the table.
In the only stalemate on Match Day 28, former Sunshine Stars head coach Deji Ayeni led his new side Akwa United to Akure and forced out a 0-0 draw which ensured United (7th) stay three points clear of Sunshine (8th) on the log.
On Saturday, leaders Rivers United went down 2-0 to Heartland with goals from Sunday Chinedu and Chijioke Mbaoma while in Aba, Enyimba pipped a stubborn Lobi Stars side 2-1 courtesy of second half goals by Samuel Kalu and Samuel Stone. Samuel Ganda scored for Lobi late on. In Kaduna, Munir Idris scored again for Niger Tornadoes in their crucial 1-0 win over Gombe United to ease relegation worries.
Match Day 29 will take centre stage next weekend.
MFM FC 2-1 Kano Pillars
Sunshine Stars 0-0 Akwa United
Kwara Utd 1-0 Shooting Stars
Remo Stars 1-0 Rangers
Plateau United 3 -1 Wikki Tourists
Katsina United 1-0 Nasarawa United
Heartland 2-0 Rivers United
Enyimba 2-1 Lobi Stars
Niger Tornadoes 1-0 Gombe
P-P – Dakkada FC vs Abia Warriors