By George Akpayen
Lobi Stars continue their impressive start to the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) with a 1-0 win over new boys Sporting Lagos on Sunday while Remo Stars smashed Gombe United 4-0 on same day.
The table-toppers got what turned out their winning goal from an unlikely source through defender Chinedu Sunday on 29 minutes when he headed past Sporting Lagos goalkeeper Christian Nwoke.
Sunday’s winner took Lobi’s points to 17, two more than second-placed Remo Stars who were at their best scoring four goals in front of their fans at the Remo Stars Stadium home ground in Ikenne.
Sikiru Alimi helped himself to two goals, one in either half while Togolese striker Franck Mawuena and substitute Aniekeme Okon completed the rout with a goal each.
Third-placed Rangers were involved in the share of points in a four-goal thriller at Sunshine Stars. Godwin Obaje fired Rangers in front before Ibrahim Yusuf and Moses Omodumueke scored for Sunshine Stars to lead. In added time, Emmanuel Jonas who came on just past the hour mark netted the equalizer to earn the Flying Antelopes a precious point.
The big game of the matchweek at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano between two former champions Kano Pillars and Enyimba was tight. However Kano Pillars edged past their rivals by a single goal through Abah Adams on 71 minutes.
Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) played with a man light through the second half at Kwara United but put in a dogged performance to take a point back to their base in Ibadan after a 1-1 draw at the Kwara State Stadium. Former 3SC striker Samuel Ayanrinde missed a spot kick on 20 minutes for Kwara United but Taofeek Malomo scored on the stroke of halftime to give the Ibadan side the lead at the break.
In added time of first half, 3SC captain and goalscorer Malomo was sent off for retaliation to a foul on him. Kwara United played most of the second half in 3SC’s half and could only breach the defence of their opponents in the 88th minute when Mohammed Alao levelled the score.
At the New Jos Stadium, Plateau United raced into a three-goal lead inside the opening 20 minutes against Abia Warriors through Christopher Nwaeze and Barnabas Daniel’s goals followed by an own goal by Jerry Ogu. Meme Okike then pulled one back for Warriors in a game in which all the scoring was done in the first 45 minutes.
It is a different story for 2022 champions Rivers United who have now failed to win in their last three league matches following a one-nil defeat at Katsina United. Mansoor Saleh’s second half goal added to salt to the wound of Stanley Eguma’s men who are in 12th place on the standings and eight points behind the league leaders Lobi Stars.
Bendel Insurance earned themselves a point on the road in a 0-0 draw at Niger Tornadoes. Monday Odigie’s side stretched their unbeaten run to four matches including keeping a clean sheet in each of the four.
A day earlier, Akwa United’s insipid start to the season continued with a 0-1 loss at Doma United. Nelson Abiam scored the goal on 18 minutes
MATCHDAY 8 RESULTS & GOALSCORERS
Doma Utd 1-0 Akwa United
Nelson Abiam 18’
Katsina Utd 1-0 Rivers United
Mansoor Saleh 47’
Sunshine Stars 2-2 Rangers
Ibrahim Yusuf 13’, Moses Omodumueke 81’ – Godwin Obaje 4’, Emmanuel Jonas 90’
Lobi Stars 1-0 Sporting Lagos
Chinedu Sunday 29’
Kano Pillars 1-0 Enyimba
Abah Adams 71’
Kwara Utd 1-1 3SC
Mohammed Alao 88’ – Taofeek Malomo 44’
PEN MISS: Samuel Ayanrinde (KWA) 20’
RED CARD: Taofeek Malomo (SHO) 45’
Niger Tornadoes 0-0 Bendel Insurance
Remo Stars 4-0 Gombe United
Sikiru Alimi 27’, 84’, Franck Mawuena 33’, Aniekeme Okon 58’
Plateau United 3-1 Abia Warriors #PLAABI #NPFL24
Christopher Nwaeze 5’, Barnabas Daniel 9’, Jerry Ogu 16’ (OG) – Meme Okike 27’