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Lobi Stars Now Clear Leaders, Despite Being Held By Pillars; Bendel Insurance Fall To Bayelsa Utd

January, 15 2024.

Emmanuel Okoko scored twice, in the 22nd minute, and three minutes into second half stoppage time, as resurgent Katsina United FC thrashed Remo Stars of Ikenne 2-0 at the Mohammadu Dikko Stadium, in Katsina.

The loss, means the Sky Blues from Ikenne-Remo remained on 32 points, one point adrift of Lobi Stars who earned a point from their draw with Kano Pillars, to become clear leaders in the NPFL table with 33 points.

Four time champions, Kano Pillars held Lobi Stars to a thrilling 1-1 draw in Lafia, a result that put to an end, the 100% win home record of Lobi Stars FC of Makurdi, for whom Stanley Oganbor got the opener as early as the 5th minute, of play at the Lafia Township Stadium.

Urged on by their gaffer, Abdul Maikaba, Kano Pillars - a blend of youth and a few experiences players, got a well-deserved equalizer two minutes from the interval, through Suleiman Idris.

Bayelsa United returned to winning ways on Monday, with a comfortable 2-Nil victory, over Bendel Insurance of Benin, at the Samson Siasia Stadium, in Yenagoa.

Garando Tekena in the 18th minute, and Eyong Offem, two minutes into second half added time got the goals that ensured the derby win, and three points in the bag for Bayelsa United who did not show any negative effect of having had their top striker, and leading NPFL scorer, Robert Mizo snapped by Al Hilal Benghazi of Libya, two weeks ago.

The victory notwitstanding, the Prosperity Boys were unmoved in the 19th position, but the three points gained, took their tally to 17 points - same as Rivers United.

Meanwhile, Chinedu Ufere's 41st minute goal, at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, in Onikan Lagos gave Sporting Lagos FC the lead in their 2-2 draw with Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan, in a derby the Oluyole Warriors twice came from behind, to salvage a point.

Coach Olugbenga Ogunbote tutored side got their first equalizer through Kareem Ademola, four minutes into stoppage time. But promoted Sporting FC hit back immediately, with Jonathan Alaukwu converting from 12 yards, 2 minutes later. Sporting FC thus went to the interval with their noses in front (2-1).

However, Gideon Monday scored 5 minute into the second half to make it 2-2, and gifted 3SC a fair share of the spoils.

Day-18 action in the league will be rounded off with a gigantic South-South derby between Rivers United, who are at present, 18th in the table with 17 points, from 13 matches; and Akwa United FC of Uyo, who are just one spot and one point, above the Pride of Rivers. The fixture holds at the Adokieye Amasiamaka Stadium, in Port Harcourt.

The four Day 18 fixture of the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), were originally scheduled for Sunday, but got moved to Monday, by the league regulators (NPFL) to avoid the clash with Sunday's Nigeria versus Equatorial Guinea Group A match, at the ongoing 2023 Afcon; reports.

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