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NPFL 2023/24: Enyimba Int'l Primed to Dim Remo Stars & Go One Point Behind Log Leaders, Lobi Stars

November, 28 2023.

...GK Obasegie the Hero, As Insurance Hold Pillars in Kano

Resurgent Enyimba Int'l FC could climb-up five places, from, 5th to 2nd in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) table, with victory at home, today, against Remo Stars of Ikenne, in their outstanding fixture, of the 2023/24 season, thus far.

The fixture was postponed indefinitely, to allow Enyimba (reigning champions) and Remo Stars (Vice-Champions) prosecute their CAF Champions League, first preliminary round ties; but coincidentally, both sides crashed out of the competition, at the very first hurdle.

The Aba People's Elephant (who are currently on 16 points), had on Saturday won the Oriental Classic in Owerri, by edging Heartland FC 1-0, for their first back-to-back wins of the season; while Remo Stars who like Enyimba are on 16 points, but one spot ahead of the Champions on superior goal difference, where held to a goalless draw, by Doma United FC of Gombe, in Ikenne-Remo.

A goal in each half, by Waheed Adebayo (2nd minute), and Man-of-the-match Orji Kalu Okagbue (85th minute) ensured that Lobi Stars of Makurdi won the "battle of stars" against 3SC of Ibadan 2-1 at the renovated Lafia Township Stadium, to reclaim top spot on 20 points, while the Oluyole Warriors stayed 3rd with 17 points.

The victory saw Lobi Stars leapfrog Doma United FC; who temporarily went tops after a nil-nil draw at Remo Stars took their points tally to 18.

The other Oriental derby played on Sunday in Umuahia was won 1-0 by Abia Warriors, for whom Collins Nwoburuoke scored as early as the 2nd minute, to inflict another defeat on Enugu Rangers. It was the second straight match the Flying Antelopes had failed to score, having netted in all of their previous eight fixtures.

After the loss, Rangers are now 6th on 15 points, with superior goals difference to Abia Warriors, who are 7th.

Following in 8th, and one point adrift, is Bendel Insurance of Benin, who has got goalkeeper Amas Obasegie to thank for saving a 13th minute penalty by veteran captain, Rabiu Ali; in their goalless draw, away to Kano Pillars FC, at the Sami Abacha Stadium, in Kofarmata.

In other games decided last weekend; Kwara United continued their good home form, by scoring a goal in each half to thrash poor travellers, Gombe United FC 2-0 at the Kwara Sports Complex, in Ilorin.

Bashiru Usman got the only goal as Niger Tornadoes edged Akwa United 1-0 at the ABS in Kaduna; while Katsina United scored late to force a 1-1 draw with visiting Bayelsa United in the North-West.

Meanwhile, Moses Omodumueke's 24th minute goal, was the winner as Sunshine Stars piped Sporting FC of Lagos 1-0 to claim all 3 points on offer in the 3rd South-West derby of the season.

Elsewhere, Plateau United of Jos dropped tom10th, after their encounter with Rivers United was put off indefinitely by the NPFL, as the Pride of Rivers were on continental duties, in the CAF Champions League.

In that game, a CAF Confederation Cup, Day-1 Group match Shedrack Asiegbu scored the third goal, as Stanley Eguma's men thrashed Angola's APC do Lobito 3-0, at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, in Uyo.

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