NPFL: Goals Galore As Enyimba, Akwa Utd, Rangers Win On Matchday One

Champions Akwa United got their Nigeria Professional Football League title defence off to a spectacular start with a 3-0 dismantling of Kano Pillars in Uyo on Sunday.

Ezekiel Bassey opened the floodgates for the hosts just before the break before Stephen Chukwude and Friday Ubong completed a miserable opening day experience for new Pillars boss Salisu Yusuf.

Elsewhere, Abdu Maikaba enjoyed a winning start to life as Enugu Rangers boss courtesy of Ossy Martins who scored either side of halftime to lift the Flying Antelopes over hosts Katsina United for whom Salisu Mustapha was on target.

Finidi George kept up his one hundred per cent record since taking charge of Enyimba as the Peoples Elephant claimed bragging rights in the Abia Derby with a narrow win over neighbours Abia United.

Ekene Awazie put Enyimba ahead in the first half but Paul Sampson responded for the visitors after the break before Chigozie Obasi ensured all three points for the hosts with a 70th-minute winner.

It was a festival of goals in Owerri as Heartland and Nasarawa United battled to a draw in a six-goal thriller. Both sides traded penalties in the first half with Ajibola Otegbeye scoring for the visitors and Ikenna Stephen responding for the hosts before Otegbeye completed his brace to give Nasarawa the lead at the break.

Chukwudi Nwaodu and Chinedu Ohanachom then scored to turn the tie in favour of Heartland but the visitors refused to lie low as Abubakar Abdullahi struck 14 minutes from time to ensure a share of the spoils for Nasarawa.

Junior Lokosa scored on his debut for Kwara United who eased past Dakkada FC 3-0 with Stephen Jude scoring a brace for the hosts. It ended all square in the battle of newly-promoted sides as hosts Gombe United held 10-man Shooting Stars to a barren draw and it also ended in a draw in Makurdi as Barnabas Imenger’s equaliser for the hosts cancelled out Rafiu Kayode Isahq’s first half opener for the visitors.