November, 5 2023.
3SC & Rangers Return to the Top With Big Home Wins
A second half masterclass by Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan condemned Niger Tornadoes to an unlikely 1-4 defeat, as the Oluyole Warriors recorded the biggest win of Day-7 in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex in Adamasingba, Ibadan.
Ayobami Adekunle opened the floodgate of goals in the 17th minute, only for Niger Tornadoes to draw level through Ernest Chidiebere in the 35th minute, as both teams headed for the break, all square at 1-1.
Samuel Bamidele 46th min, Gbolagade Adelowo 60th min and Kareem Ademola 88th min then took turns to score a goal each as 3SC ran riot in the second half, while the Ikon Allah Boys from Minna had no response.
Meanwhile, a goal in either half by Kazeem Ogunleye (3rd min free-kick) and Kenneth Igboke in the 53rd minute, saw Enugu Rangers add to the woes of Heartland FC of Owerri, in an Oriental derby, played at the Awka Township Stadium. The Flying Antelopes won it 2-0 and are now joint top with 3SC at the summit of the NPFL log, with 13 points apiece.
The early kick-off at the Pantami Stadium in Gombe, was literarily a show for the "Emmanuels"; as Emmanuel Ekpenyong netted the opener in the 50th minute for Doma United FC; for whom Emmanuel Jesam scored 4 mins later, and 4 minutes from time, to give them an improbable 3-0 victory over their more illustrious city rivals, in the North-West derby.
The eye-catching victory by Doma United FC will also go down in the record books as only the second road win of the 2023/24 season, after the 2-1 win in Yenagoa, by Remo Stars of Ikenne.
Talking about Remo Stars, the Sky Blues had their unbeaten start to the season ended by a well rested Bendel Insurance FC side, which did not play at the midweek. Ismail Sarki got the only goal of the match in the 25th minute, and 1-0 it ended at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, in favour of the Benin Arsenal.
Fresh from security an Infinix Man-of-the-match deal for his stuttering side, Kanu Nwankwo chaired Enyimba of Aba still needed a penalty converted by Chijioke Mbaoma 5 minutes into first half stoppage time, to beat visiting Kwara United; for only their second victory of the season.
Their neighbours, Abia Warriors were cruising in Umuahia, with Ibrahim Dehinde getting the goals in the 11th and 22nd minutes; but a second half fightback by Katsina United, saw them halve the deficit in the 86th minute, as the game ended 2-1 in favour of Coach Erasmus Onuh's side.
At the Adokieye Amasiamaka Stadium in Port Harcourt, Alex Oyowah was again the hero as his late goal earned Rivers United a point against Edith Agoye's Sunshine Stars, who took the lead in the 52nd minute, and were unlucky not to have taken all 3 points back to Akure.
In the days other game, played at the Eket Stadium, Akwa United were held goalless by Plateau United FC; www.ckdmedia.ng reports.
Match-day 7 fixtures will be rounded off today (Monday) with Bayelsa United hosting Lobi Stars of Makurdi, at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa; while Kano Pillars takes a trip to Lagos, for the clash with Sporting Lagos FC, at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, in Onikan.