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NPFL: Lobi Stars, Niger Tornadoes push way to safety

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It was an evening of victories for all the home sides as teams in danger of relegation showed the desire to stay afloat.

Eight more games featured on Sunday, the second day of the commencement of the season’s second half, resulting in Niger Tornadoes and Lobi Stars climbing out of the drop four, while MFM moved up a step from the bottom of the table where they had been since Matchday 7.

Goals from Raphael Ayagwa via the spot in the 68th and another by Godfrey Utim a minute to the end of the regulation time ensured that Lobi Stars recorded victory for the first time in six matches. The result against title-seeking Rangers lifted the Ortom Boys a step above danger, although Katsina United will push them down if they win their rescheduled home match against Abia Warriors.

Also out of danger are Niger Tornadoes ensuring that through Emmanuel Jonas’s goal in the 70th minute against visiting Dakkada FC.

And while both Dakkada FC and MFM remain in the bottom four, the latter replaced themselves with Heartland as the last team on the log. The Lagos side have Micah Ojodomo to thank for finding Heartland’s net in the 33rd minute.

In the title race, Sunshine Stars had to struggle for long but eventually prevailed against Plateau United through Kolade Adeniji’s 78th minute goal. With that setback, Rivers United remain at the head of the table, two points better that Plateau United.

Despite the defeat suffered by Rangers, the Flying Antelopes stay at No 3, while Kwara United swapped places with former fourth placed Remo Stars, who are now fifth on the log.

Hadi Haruna shot the visitors ahead in the 34th minute, but Kabiru Balogun levelled up in the 45th minute, while Samad Kadiri saw to the defeat of Remo Stars in the 75th minute.

In Aba, Abel James (37th) and Victor Mbaoma (49th) were the scorers for Enyimba against Wikki Tourists.

A similar victory was recorded in Lafia where Nasarawa United avenged their loss to Shooting Stars last time out. Adamu Hassan (62nd minute) and Shammasu Mohammed’s 90th penalty made that possible.

Barnabas Daniel struck for Gombe United in the 65th to seek maximum points against Kano Pillars.

Sunday’s results: Enyimba 2-0 Wikki Tourists, Kwara United 2-1 Remo Stars, Sunshine Stars 1-0 Plateau United, Nasarawa United 2-0 Shooting Stars, Niger Tornadoes 1-0 Dakkada FC, Lobi Stars 2-0 Rangers, Gombe United 1-0 Kano Pillars, MFM 1-0 Heartland

Saturday’s result: Akwa United 1-1 Rivers United

Rescheduled: Katsina United v Abia Warriors

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