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NPFL: Rivers United, Plateau United again contest for top spot

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Log leaders Rivers United and their perennial chasers, Plateau United play in front of their fans in the closing stanza of Matchday 21 of the 2021/22 Nigeria Professional Football League, the top flight of the country’s club football.

Two points separate both teams, which means that any slip up may see Rivers United relinquish the top spot for the first time in eight weeks.

The Pride of Rivers are home to Lobi Stars, who are leading the bottom four despite beating Rangers 2-0 in their last match to record the first victory in six games. They were forced to 1-1 by champions Akwa United in Uyo last Saturday as Etim Matthew’s own goal in the 17th minute was cancelled by substitute Adeyeye Adeyemi two minutes after the break.

It will be seen this Thursday afternoon in Port Harcourt if Rivers United will keep to the words of Head Coach, Stanley Eguma that his team would focus on keeping the momentum.

‘We are focused and determined to maintain the lead to enable us meet our aspirations by the end of the season. We will continue to give our best, knowing that the second half of the season is always the business end. All the teams have regrouped and will be difficult, especially when you play the relegation-threatened teams’, Eguma assured in his post-match media interface after the match in Uyo.

The first leg of the Rivers United-Lobi Stars tie ended 1-1.

Plateau United will go for revenge giving that Niger Tornadoes won their first face-off of the season 1-0 on the opening day of this term, particular after their loss by the same scoreline to Sunshine last Sunday.

Fidelis Ilechukwu’s squad must return to the form that led to their winning nine matches out of 11 until Sunshine Stars happened through a 78th-minute goal by Kolade Adeniji.

‘I am very happy. I know what the players can do and I am happy they did not disappoint’, Sunshine Stars coah Kayode  Adeyemi told www.npfl.ng. The victory over Plateau United was his first game in charge of the Akure Gunners.

Tornadoes leapt out of the relegation zone a week ago but risked returning there if they lose in Jos and Lobi Stars shock Rivers United in Port Harcourt.

Thursday fixtures: Wikki Tourists v Sunshine Stars, Rivers United v Lobi Stars, Plateau United v Niger Tornadoes (4 pm)

Wednesday’s results: Kano Pillars 0-0 Akwa United, Abia Warriors 2-1 Enyimba, Dakkada FC 2-0 Kwara United, Rangers 1-0 Katsina United, Shooting Stars 0-0 Gombe United, Remo Stars 1-0 MFM, Nasarawa United 2-0 Heartland

Thursday fixtures: Wikki Tourists v Sunshine Stars, Rivers United v Lobi Stars, Plateau United v Niger Tornadoes (4 pm)

Additional reports by LMC Media

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