The 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League season got underway on Saturday with Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) and Rangers emerging as one of the winners of the day, www.aclsports.com reports.
MD 1 #NPFL24 : Key Note 👇🏾
-Oge Emmanuel scored first goal of the season.
-Robert Mizo bagged the first HAT-TRICK of the season.
-Lobi Stars recorded the first away draw of the season.
-8 goals thriller: Bayelsa Utd 4-3 Akwa Utd.
-21 goals scored from 7 games on opening day. pic.twitter.com/AjRNbkrLQC
— TheNaijaFootballConference (@TNFCNG) September 30, 2023
Shooting Stars hosted Plateau United at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan – a repeat of last season’s opener in Jos – and the Ibadan side took all three points courtesy of a 2-1 win.
— NPFLLive (@NPFL_Live) September 30, 2023
The Oluyole Warriors got their noses in front when Ayobami Adekunle headed home a reading cross from left back Olawale Mutiu in the 35th minute. Veteran striker Anayor Ogbonna then made it 2-0 shortly after coming on before Uche Onwuasonaya got one back for Plateau United moments later.
In Awka, similar scoreline played out between Rangers and Doma United. It was Fidelis Ilechukwu’s first NPFL game since leaving Plateau United at the end of last season. The flying Antelopes raced to a two-goal lead courtesy of Kalu Nweke and Austin Onyemaechi. Bidemi Owoku halved the deficit for the Tigers but they could not find the much-needed equalizer.
In Akure, Emmanuel Oge’s ninth minute goal was the difference as Sunshine Stars handed a defeat to Kano Pillars on their return to the top-flight. Emmanuel’s goal is the first NPFL goal of the 2023/24 season.
It was a eight-goal thriller between Bayelsa United and Akwa United in Yenagoa. Hadi Mohammed put Akwa United in front but the home side responded through Alex Jerry. Oguntayo Seyi’s deflected effort got the visitors back in front before Robert Mizo struck on the stroke of halftime to level the scores again.
Robert Mizo’s hat-trick in #BAYAKW
— NPFL News 🇳🇬 (@NPFL_News) October 1, 2023
Seyi grabbed his second of the game to hand Akwa United the lead once again but Mizo scored twice to complete his hat trick and hand his side the lead for the first time in the game. Substitute Emmanuel Nneoyi then made it 5-3 to secure the first three points of the season for Bayelsa United.
Elsewhere, Heartland came from two goals down to force a share of the spoils with Lobi Stars in Owerri. The visitors went in front through Adebayo Waheed and Francis Odinaka in the first half before two goals from Patrick Nwogbaga and Ezekiel Bassey saved the Naze Millionaires from the jaws of defeat.
Bello Lukman’s second half goal for Katsina United helped them beat Kwara United in Katsina. John Peter also scored the only goal in Umuahia as Abia Warriors sent Niger Tornadoes back to Minna empty handed.
Meanwhile, newly promoted Sporting Lagos will host Gombe United at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena on Monday in the last match of the week.
Katsina Utd 1-0 Kwara United
Bayelsa United 5-3 Akwa United
Shooting Stars 2-1 Plateau United
Rangers 2-1 Doma United
Abia Warriors 1-0 Niger Tornadoes
Heartland 2-2 Lobi Stars
Sunshine Stars 1-0 Kano Pillars