Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, made a winning return to Kano Pillars, providing an assist for Rabiu Ali to score in Sai Masu Gida’s hard fought 1-0 victory over Adamawa United on matchday 21 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Asides from the dazzling run Musa made in the opening minutes, and Fahad Usman’s curled free-kick in the 15th minute, the first-half action at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna failed to produce talking points.
Adamawa United showed Pillars no respect. They contested aerial balls, chased the game, and took it to their opponents. The first half ended goalless.
Pillars doubled their efforts in the second half. In the 70th minute, they cracked the walls of Adamawa United when Rabiu Ali was brought down in the box and a penalty was awarded to Pillars.
Ali stepped up to the task and sent the ball to the heavens. Relief for the visitors. That’s the first time the reliable Ali will be missing from the spot this season.
Ten minutes later, he made amends for his miss when he received a fine pass from Musa to score his eighth goal of the season. That goal meant so much to Pillars league ambition.
Sai Masu Gida have now recorded 12 wins this season, they are third on the log. It’s the 13th defeat for Adamawa United and they are still bottom of the log.
Unstoppable Akwa United
Akwa United extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches with a 2-0 victory over Dakkada FC in the Uyo derby. Man on fire, Charles Atshimene scored both goals for coach Kennedy Boboye’s team.
As early as 10 minutes into the match, Atshimene received an assist from Etim Matthew to smash Akwa United into the lead from 15 yards.
When the second half resumed, Atshimene wasted no time in securing his brace. Assisted by Akarandut Orok, he curled in the ball from 20 yards to score his 6th goal of the season. The win ensured Akwa United stays unbeaten with 40 points now and retain the top position on the log.
Akwa United’s next match is a home fixture against Rangers International Football Club.
Kwara United returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Plateau United. Coach Abdullahi Biffo’s team lost top spot position after losing to Nasarawa United on matchday 20. Still the surprise team of the season, the Harmony Boys are second on the log, they are still unbeaten at home and yet to drop below the top four.
Away Teams Prevail
Matchday 21 produced a tale of away victories. Four!
In Ozoro, MFM Football Club of Lagos stunned Warri Wolves 0-2 to keep their season’s hopes alive.
First-half goals from Ifeanyi Onyebuchi and Clement Ogwu secured the 7th win of the campaign for the Olukoya boys who are now 13th on the log. The hosts had a chance to pull one back in the 68th when they were awarded a penalty but Mark Daniel failed to score from the spot.
He sent the goalkeeper the wrong way, but his effort went wide. Warri Wolves were condemned to an 11th defeat this season, they’ve won just 5 games and dropped to 17th on the log.
Nasarawa United travelled to Bauchi to secure a crucial 1-2 win over Wikki Tourists. The Solid Miners needed to consolidate on their 2-1 victory over Kwara United on Matchday 20 and they did just that. Same guys who got the job done in Lafia, continued their fine form in Bauchi.
It was the home side that opened the scoring in the 22nd minute through Manu Garba. It didn’t take long before Anas Yusuf leveled up for the visitors. Silas Nwankwo scored the winner in the opening minutes of the second to seal the 6th spot on the log for coach Bala Nikyu’s team.
In Enugu, an early goal scored by Godwin Aguda from close range was good enough to give Rivers United victory over Rangers International FC. It is the 6th defeat of the season for the Flying Antelopes who were hoping to consolidate their chase for the top spot. The win shot the Pride of Rivers into the top four.
The Struggles of Sunshine Stars, FC Ifeanyi Ubah
FC Ifeanyi Ubah struggles continued with a 2-0 loss to Lobi Stars in Makurdi. Ossy Martins and Monday Akile goals gave coach Kabiru Dogo’s team their 9th win of the season.
In Owerri, Heartland FC made it back-to-back wins in the league with a 2-0 win over Katsina United.
The first half by Bright Onyedikachi and Kelechi Chimezie secured maximum points for coach Fidelis Ilechukwu’s team and shot them to 7th on the table.
In Akure, the winless run of Sunshine Stars continued after they played a goalless draw with Jigawa Golden Stars. Coach Gbenga Ogunbote’s team have failed to record a win since their matchday 7 victory over Rangers International. It’s now 14 games without a win and they are comfortably in the relegation zone.
NIGERIA PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Matchday 21 Results
Kano Pillars 1 Adamawa United 0
Dakkada FC 0 Akwa United 2
Kwara United 2 Plateau United 0
Warri Wolves 0 MFM FC 2
Wikki Tourists 1 Nasarawa United 2
Rangers Int’l FC 0 Rivers United 1
Lobi Stars 2 FC Ifeanyi Ubah 0
Heartland FC 2 Katsina United 0
Sunshine Stars 0 Jigawa Golden Stars 0