The unstoppable run of Bendel Insurance in this season’s Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) continued on Wednesday as they beat El-Kanemi Warriors in Maiduguri while respite came the way of Rangers International and Gombe United as they recorded their first wins of the campaign.
Insurance made a difficult trip to the North East to face El-Kanemi and they came out unscathed after Deputy Echeta’s first half goal handed them all three points. The win extended the newly promoted side’s unstoppable start to the season to five wins from as many matches.
Remo Stars stayed in second place after beating Enyimba 1-0 in Ikenne-Remo. Samuel Anakwe scored within the opening 18 seconds – the fastest goal in the NPFL this season – to give Remo maximum points in the game.
Plateau United defender Ifeanyi Emmanuel continued his goalscoring form after netting the winner in their 1-2 away win at Nasarawa United in Kaduna. Plateau went in front through Mustapha Ibrahim but former youth international King Osanga replied before Emmanuel’s goal in the 66th minute settled the tie in favour of the visitors.
The two other games in Group produced first wins for the host teams as Gombe United and Kwara United beat Shooting Stars and Akwa United respectively. In-form Taye Yusuf scored both goals for Gombe United in their 2-1 win over Shooting Stars while Ahmed Jimoh’s late strike handed Kwara United their first win with the same score margin against Akwa United. Wasiu Alalade (Kwara) and Cyril Olisema (Akwa) had pegged the game at 1-1 before Jimoh’s 88th minute goal.
Insurance sit top of Group 🅰️ while Rivers don't look like releasing their hold of Group 🅱️.— Andrew Randa (@RandaAndrew) February 1, 2023
Wikki and Nasarawa sit bottom. Seat belt type sitting.#NPFL23 #NPFL23disfootballsef pic.twitter.com/uRha5sAMQP
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Champions Rivers United remained at the summit of the group following a 2-0 win over Wikki Tourists in Port Harcourt. Left back Ebube Duru scored both goals for the Pride of Rivers – a first half free kick and a second half spot kick.
Lobi Stars remained in second spot after a 1-0 win over Sunshine Stars on Wednesday courtesy of a controversial penalty kick converted by Joseph Atule in the 88th minute of the game decided at the Zaria Road Stadium in Jos.
Abia Warriors bounced back to winning ways following a 1-0 win over Niger Tornadoes in Umuahia with Tornadoes now suddenly without a win in their last three games. Bello Lukman with the goal, his 3rd of the season.
Bayelsa United’s stuttering start to the season continued after they were held 1-1 by Doma United in Yenagoa. Samuel Enefiok gave the visitors the lead on the dot of half time but Osahon Osoboh restored parity eight minutes after the break with no further goals in the contest.
In the group’s last game, Rangers International recorded their first win of the season in the 1-0 defeat of Dakkada in Awka. Hadi Mohammed scored what turned out to be the game’s only goal in the 30th minute as head coach Abdu Maikaba escapes more pressure.
Match Day 6 games come up this weekend.