By Mohammed Yusuf Suleiman, LMC Media
Matchday 26 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (Season 2021/22) was concluded on Sunday with seven matches, as against three the day before.
As Plateau United did 24 hours earlier, Rivers United also lost on their trip to Ilorin where Kwara United won 2-1 to keep the gap between the Pride of Rivers at the top of the table and Plateau United at four points.
Nelson Esor scored as early as the third minute for Kwara United.
Samad Kadiri restored parity in the 57th minute for visiting Rivers United, while Jide Fatokun ensured they got a come back win with what ended as the winner 20 minutes later.
Remo Stars maintained No 3, thanks to a solitary goal by Lekan Adebayo in the 26th minute in Ikenne-Remo against Wikki Tourists.
Rangers kept the pressure on third placed Remo with a 0-0 draw away barren outcome in Lagos to MFM FC to stay fourth, two points behind the last continental spot via the league. They also have to be wary of Akwa United.
Fifth placed Akwa United were beaten 0-1 in Katsina with Destiny Ashadi deciding the game in the 56th minute. Their position however remained unchanged despite the defeat, one point ahead sixth placed Enyimba.
Heartland kept their hope of beating relegation alive with a hard earned 2-1 win over neighbors Abia Warriors. Goals from Murphy Ndukwu and Nonso Nzediegwu proved decisive despite Obaje’s strike in the 34th minute.
Lobi Stars also breathed life into their survival hopes with a 2-1 win over Nasarawa United who made the short trip to Makurdi. Goals from Ifeanyi Ogba and Godfrey Utim made Tochukwu Michael’s late goal from the spot nothing but a consolation.
Sunshine Stars and Shooting Stars played out a 0-0 draw in Akure to stay 8th and 11th respectively.
On Saturday, Plateau United hung on for an hour against Dakkada in Uyo before succumbing to a strike by Emmanuel Charles which decided the game in favour of the home side. A dent on the visitors’ title charge.
Enyimba continued their push up the table with a comfortable 3-0 win over Gombe United with goals from Chukwuemeka Obioma, Victor Mbaoma and Cyril Olisema in the 6th, 15th and 29th minute respectively.
Niger Tornadoes left it late to compound the woes of Kano Pillars with Musa Wakili scoring a late winner to secure a comeback win. Rabiu Ali early goal was cancelled by Jonas Emmanuel before Wakili’s decisive goal from the spot.