El Kanemi Warriors and Akwa United both suffered heavy defeats away from home on Sunday and Enugu Rangers made it thirteen games without a loss to leave matters at the top of Groups A and B of the 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) unchanged on Match Day 16.
Warriors traveled to the Lafia Township Stadium looking to add to their 28 points and perhaps claim sole ownership of top spot in Group B, but instead, they were confronted by a nightmare as home team Nasarawa United ran riot in a 5-1 discombobulation of the visitors.
Sunusi Ibrahim scored practically from the kick off for the hosts to give an inkling of what lay ahead for Warriors who never recovered from that early goal as things went pretty much downhill from that point.
Further goals from Sunusi who moved joint top of the scorers’ chart alongside Akwa United’s Mfon Udoh with his eighth of the season and Anas Yusuf who bagged two assists in the match put Nasarawa 3-0 up at half-time.
Ndala Isah got in on the act with the fourth for the hosts and although Sulley Mohammed pulled one back for the visitors, it was but a mere drop in the ocean as Emmanuel Ogbole added a fifth for the hosts to hand Warriors their heaviest defeat since a 4-0 drubbing at Enyimba in 2017.
Akwa United who were level on points with El Kanemi Warriors but ahead on goals difference also suffered a 3-0 beating at the hands of former manager Abdu Maikaba now in charge of Jos side, Plateau United. Jesse Akila, Bernard Ovoke and Amos Gyang scored the goals to douse relegation fears for the home side.
Go Round FC were 2-1 victors over Heartland FC in Omoku. Sadiq Ololade scored just 38 seconds into the match to put the hosts ahead but the Naze Millionaires were level in the 52nd minute through Uche Oguchi’s beautifully struck free kick.
Adeseun Adelani, however, struck the winner in the 76th minute for Willy Udube’s side. Heartland now have just two wins in their past ten matches and drop to eighth in the log, two points off the relegation places.
Rabiu Ali missed one penalty and scored another for Kano Pillars who drop one spot to fifth place as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Gombe United at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano. United’s goal also came from the spot and was scored by Adamu Mohammed.
Sadiq Adam provided a brace of assists for Philip Auta whose brace handed basement side Yobe Desert Stars a 2-0 victory over third-placed FC Ifeanyi Ubah in Damaturu.
In the late kick-off, Delta Force edged Abia Warriors 1-0 courtesy of substitute Kabiru Sanusi’s 61st-minute effort in Asaba.
Enugu Rangers extended their lead at the top of Group A to six points with a narrow 1-0 victory over third-placed MFM FC at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.
The Flying Antelopes had lost just once this season – a one-nil reverse to Sunday’s opponents MFM in Lagos – and they made amends for that loss when Pascal Seka scored his fifth of the season and his third in two games to extend their unbeaten run to thirteen games in the league. MFM have now failed to win any of their past six games and remain in third place on the log.
Wikki Tourists leapfrogged past Katsina United into fifth place with a 1-0 win at the Pantami Stadium in Gombe. Hassan Musa scored what proved to be the winner in the 66th minute although the home side had to endure a nervy finish to the match after goalkeeper Adamu Abubakar was sent off for time wasting in the 86th minute.
Ten-man Rivers United missed the chance to climb above Sunshine Stars into seventh place as both sides played out to 1-1 draw at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt. Both sides were awarded second-half penalties with Ossy Martin scoring for the hosts and Ajibola Otegbeye scoring for the visitors.
It was a low scoring day in Group A as the three other encounters on Sunday all ended in scoreless draws.
Second-placed Enyimba secured a creditable draw away to fourth-placed Lobi Stars at the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi while bottom side Remo Stars and second bottom Niger Tornadoes shared the spoils in Sagamu.
Ninth-placed Kwara United’s encounter with tenth placed Bendel Insurance also ended goalless in Ilorin. Insurance although unbeaten in their past five matches – having kept clean sheets in all five – have now recorded three consecutive goalless draws, six goalless draws in total for the season and a total of nine draws in the fifteen matches they’ve played this season.
2018/2019 NPFL MATCH DAY 16 RESULTS
ENUGU RANGERS 1-0 MFM FC
(Pascal Seka 36’)
RIVERS UNITED 1-1 SUNSHINE STARS
(Ossy Martins (pen) 69’ – Ajibola Otegbeye (pen) 83’)
WIKKI TOURISTS 1-0 KATSINA UNITED
(Hassan Musa 66’)
REMO STARS 0-0 NIGER TORNADOES
LOBI STARS 0-0 ENYIMBA
KWARA UNITED 0-0 BENDEL INSURANCE
NASARAWA 5-1 EL KANEMI WARRIORS
(Sunusi Ibrahim 1’, 30’, Anas Yusuf 32’, Ndala Isah 52’, Emmanuel Ogbole 88’ – Sulley Mohammed 65’)
PLATEAU UNITED 3-0 AKWA UNITED
(Jesse Akila 10’, Bernard Ovoke 58’, Amos Gyang 78’)
YOBE DESERT STARS 2-0 FC IFEANYI UBAH
(Philip Auta 13’, 79’)
GO ROUND FC 2-1 HEARTLAND FC
(Sadiq Ololade 1’, Adeseun Adelani 76’ – Uche Oguchi 51’)
KANO PILLARS 1-1 GOMBE UNITED
(Rabiu Ali (pen) 45+5’ – Adamu Mohammed 48’)
DELTA FORCE 1-0 ABIA WARRIORS
(Kabiru Sanusi 61’)