Violent scenes reportedly greeted full time at the Mohammed Dikko Stadium where home side Katsina United were held to a 1-1 draw by visiting Kano Pillars on Matchday 15 of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Unconfirmed pictures tweeted by Kano Pillars at full time depicted fans of the home side brandishing weapons as they went on a rampage as they protested the Sai Musa Gida’s temerity of picking up points in Katsina.
Although they have been no independent corroboration of the fan violence, sources close to Kano Pillars said officials and players of the club were attacked.
The League Management Company is yet to issue a statement on the incident presumably because they have yet to receive the full match reports of the referees and match delegate.
Seun Adelani Yusuf shocked the hosts when he put Pillars in front after 34 minutes but Tasiu Lawal restored parity for the hosts a minute before halftime. United thought they had the lead in the 50th minute but former Pillars man Mannir Ubale’s effort was struck out for offside.
13th placed Pillars are unbeaten now in 10 matches but have drawn eight times in that run.
Elsewhere, acting Enyimba head coach Fatai Osho was handed a chastening debut in the league as the Aba Elephants were walloped 2-0 in Aba by bogey team Heartland FC.
First-half goals from Sadiq Abubakar in the 30th minute and Enyimba loanee Chukwuemeka Obioma in added time after Stanley Dimgba had missed a penalty for the hosts left the Aba side in search of a first win over the Naze Millionaires since 2015.
Table-toppers Lobi Stars fell to a controversial 2-1 defeat in Port Harcourt against Rivers United who moved level on points with the Makurdi side.
United got off to a flyer when Nelson Esor put them ahead with just two minutes on the clock but defender John Lazarus levelled matters for Gbenga Ogunbote’s side in the 19th minute.
There was an element of farce to the winner scored by Malachi Ohawume in the 75th with no one but the assistant referee having seen the ball cross the line.
Third-placed Plateau United’s wobble continued as they lost 2-1 to Sunshine Stars in Akure to stretch their winless run to three games.
Timileyin Ogunniyi and Fuad Ekelojuoti gave the hosts a two-goal lead at half-time before Uche Onwuasoanya pulled one back for the visitors in the 57th minute.
In Lagos, defender Joshua Akpudje scored an unusual hat-trick as he bagged all the goals in MFM’s 2-1 victory over struggling Jigawa Golden Stars.
Akpudje recovered from scoring a 30th-minute own goal to score twice more in the right goal as MFM grabbed all three points.
It was a flurry of penalty kicks in Umuahia where Abia Warriors edged fellow Easterners FC Ifeanyiubah 2-1 at the Umuahia Township Stadium to move up to eighth.
Jimoh Gbadamosi’s effort from the spot cancelled out Lukman Bello’s opener for the hosts, but the hosts missed the opportunity to take the lead when Jimoh Oni ballooned his spot-kick over the bar.
The winning goal was however scored via a set-piece with Yakub Hammed curling home a free-kick with fifteen minutes left on the clock.
Struggling Enugu Rangers grabbed a second league win in succession with a highly creditable victory at Warri Wolves to move off the foot of the table.
Kelvin Itoya and Kenechukwu put the Flying Antelopes two goals up inside fifteen minutes before Charles Atsemene pulled one back for the hosts in the 41st minute.
Despite seeing Kenechukwu Agu sent off the 60th minute, Salisu Yusuf’s side held on to claim a 2-1 win against Wolves who drop to 15th following a second straight loss.
Alao Dambani scored either side of half-time as Kwara United handed Akwa United a shocking 2-0 defeat in Uyo to put a shuddering halt to Kennedy Boboye’s unbeaten run as manager of the Promise Keepers.
In the early kick-off, 19th placed Adamawa United and 14th placed Wikki Tourists shared the spoils with the encounter ending in a goalless stalemate.
Fifth-placed Dakkada FC hosts bottom side Nasarawa United in the round’s final fixture on Thursday.
NPFL Matchday 15 Fixtures
Akwa United 0-2 Kwara United
(Alao Danbani 26’, 49’)
MFM 2-1 Jigawa Golden Stars
(Joshua Akpudje 41’, 69’ – Joshua Akpudje 30’ (OG))
Enyimba 0-2 Heartland
(Sadiq Abubakar 30’, Chukwuemeka Obioma 45+1’)
Sunshine Stars 2-1 Plateau United
(Timileyin Ogunniyi 11’, Fuad Ekelojuoti 33’ – Uche Onwuasoanya 57’)
Rivers United 2-1 Lobi Stars
(Nelson Esor 2’, Malachi Ohawume 75′ – John Lazarus 19’)
Katsina United 1-1 Kano Pillars
(Tasiu Lawal 44’ – Seun Adelani Yusuf 34’)
Abia Warriors 2-1 FC Ifeanyiubah
(Lukman Bello 28’, Yakub Hammed 75’ – Jimoh Gbadamosi 55’ (PEN))
Warri Wolves 1-2 Enugu Rangers
(Charles Atsemene 41’ – Kelvin Itoya 3’, Kenechukwu Agu 14’)
Adamawa United 0-0 Wikki Tourists