There was a flurry of late goals across various centres in the first series of matchday 12 fixtures of the 2020-21 Nigeria Professional Football League as several teams left it late to claim the spoils or salvage their ties.
In Aba, eight-time champions Enyimba were stunned at the death as Philip David scored in the 4th minute of added time to claim a share of the spoils for Akwa United.
The Aba Elephants, fresh off vanquishing fellow NPFL side Rivers United to make the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup thought they had secured all three points from Austin Oladapo’s 54th minute strike.
But with time running out, David struck with almost the last touch of the game to shock the home side and give the Promise Keepers their first point in Aba since 2018.
The result leaves Enyimba, who have two games in hand on their rivals, in third place on 22 points with Akwa United three points and three places behind.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim Sale scored a 95th minute winner to guide 10-man Wikki Tourists to a 2-1 victory over Rangers in Bauchi.
Israel Abia had levelled for the visitors in the 58th minute after Idris Mohammed Gida had given the hosts a 40th minute lead.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men after Peter Ambrose got his matching orders on the stroke of half time, but their numerical disadvantage proved to be no impediment as they snatched all three points at the end.
Wikki Tourists who are unbeaten in three games now have 16 points and are up to 8th while Rangers are 5th with 20 points.
There was yet more late drama in Ilorin as Kwara United rallied very late to spare their blushes and avoid becoming the latest victims of Imama Amapakabo’s Abia Warriors renaissance.
Abia Warriors had won three of their last four matches and seemed poised for a fourth win in five as they led in added time courtesy of Mustapha Jibrin’s 66th minute goal.
But Alao Danbani snuck in to level matters in the fifth minute of added time to ensure the home side avoided losing consecutive games for the first time this season.
The visitors finished with ten men after Adekunle Adeleke was sent off in the aftermath of the goal.
Despite salvaging a draw, Kwara United dropped a spot to second with 22 points while Abia Warriors have 13 points and are up to 15th.
Nyima Nwagua scored a 9th minute winner as Kano Pillars opened up a one point lead in the table with victory against Sunshine Stars in Kaduna.
The home side were missing manager Emmanuel Soccoia who had been fined and banned for one match following critical comments about the officiating in his side’s loss at Lobi Stars last time out.
The defeat means 11th-placed Sunshine Stars are now without a win in five games.
Elsewhere, Ibrahim Mustapha scored a brace as Plateau United snapped a three game losing streak with a 3-0 win against Jigawa Golden Stars in Jos.
The victory moves Plateau United to 12th place with 14 points, two points off 10th-placed Jigawa Golden Stars.
Adamu Hassan also struck twice to help 4th-placed Nasarawa United to only their second win in six games as they brushed aside relegation threatened FC Ifeanyiubah 3-0 in Lafia.
And Emeka Udo’s 67th minute winner was enough to give Warri Wolves a 1-0 win over Rangers.
19th-placed Warri Wolves now have 12 points, one off safety while Rivers United fall to 7th with 18 points although they have two games in hand on their rivals.
2020/21 NPFL MD12 Results
Kwara United 1-1 Abia Warriors
Alao Danbani 90+5’ – Mustapha Jibrin 66’
Wikki Tourists 2-1 Rangers
Idris Mohammed Guda 40’ (PEN), Ibrahim Sale 90+5’ – Israel Abia 58’
Enyimba 1-1 Akwa United
Austin Oladapo 54’ – Philip David 90+4’
Plateau United 3-0 Jigawa Golden Stars
Oche Ochewechi 6’, Ibrahim Mustapha 21’, 43’
Warri Wolves 1-0 Rivers United
Emeka Udo 67’
Kano Pillars 1-0 Sunshine Stars
Nyima Nwagua 9’
Nasarawa United 3-0 FC Ifeanyiubah
Ikenna Ofor 10’, Adamu Hgyassan 58’, 85’