Gombe United frustrated Rivers United in Port Harcourt, but the home side stay on top of the table going into the last Matchday of the season’s first half. Goalless the game ended at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium. It was River United’s second barren result at home this term after the same scoreline against Sunshine Stars earlier.
The result left Plateau United with the prospect of leading the table at the mid-season break being just a point behind the leaders. Next Matchday, Rivers United will welcome defending champions Akwa United to Port Harcourt, while Plateau United will host Sunshine Stars.
Plateau United head Fidelis Ilechukwu has however said that his side never expected to be title contenders this season after the game of two halves against Enyimba on Saturday.
‘Doing this unbeaten run is something the players understand how it works’,” the former Heartland coach told www.npfl.ng
‘We are not defensive in any way. The Nigerian league is open, such that if you prepare your team very well, you can win, draw or lose anywhere.
‘So, in every game, every place is like our home. If we lose, we go back and work. You can see what happened today and after the first half, we tried to stop every attack from Enyimba from their right back and left back and hit them on the counter and also possess the ball more than them in the second half’.
Remo Stars are one of the big losers of this Matchday. The former log leaders dropped two steps to now occupy No 5 with Rangers and Kwara United moving up to third and fourth.
Rangers were clinically in Uyo in beating their hosts 3-0. Goals from Samuel Pam (55th minute), Chidiebere Nwobodo (70th), and Shedrack Asiegbu in the last minute of the regulation time silenced the fans at the Nest of Champions.
For Kwara United, defender Deji Bamidele found the back of the net against Heartland after hitting a thunderous shot. He counted the goal as the first of five he hopes to contribute to his club’s campaign this season.
According to www.npfl.ng, the hosts were made to labour hard to pick the three points at the Kwara Stadium Complex, Ilorin.
Alao Danbani scored his seventh goal of the season in a fantastic fashion when he beat his markers, before rounding keeper Femi Thomas to play into an empty net for Kwara United’s second goal.
The visitors reduced the scoreline in the 80th minute when Chukwudi Nwaodu scored a beautiful team goal with 10 minutes left on the clock.
For the struggling teams, Abia Warriors and Katsina United shot their way to safety. The Warriors kept their nerves in Makurdi and inflicted the fourth defeat in a row on the Stars. It was Lobi Stars’ second home loss after been beaten 0-2 by Plateau United two matches ago.
Valentine Odoh had shot the visitors ahead in the 54th minute, only for Solomon Kwambe to cancel that advantage two minutes later. But Odoh had the final word in the 84th minute.
In Katsina United, Habibu Yakubu was the hero as the Changi Boys held on till the end.
Lobi Stars crashed to the drop zone, just as Heartland where they both met Dakkada FC and the section’s landlords, MFM.
All Week 18 results
Enyimba 1-1 Plateau United, Niger Tornadoes 1-0 Remo Stars, Kwara United 2-1 Heartland, Sunshine Stars 2-1 Dakkada, Katsina United 1-0 Wikki Tourist, Lobi Stars 1-2 Abia Warriors, Akwa United 0-3 Rangers, Gombe United 0-0 Rivers United, Nasarawa United 1-1 MFM, Shooting Stars 1-0 Kano Pillars
Additional reports by LMC Media