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NPFL 2023/24: Remo Stars Storm to Top of the Log, Hands Sporting Lagos First Top Flight Defeat

October, 22 2023.

Remo Stars of Ikenne, on Sunday underlined their title credentials, by springing up from a goal down to beat Sporting FC of Lagos 2-1, in the very first South-West derby of the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) season.

Franck Mauiena struck the equalizer for Remo, 10 minutes after Jonathan Alukwu had put the hitherto unbeaten Sporting Lagos in front, with a well taken goal in the 21st minute, of the fircely contested encounter.

Sikiru Alimi then scored from 12 yards, to give the Sky Blues a lead which they preserved, till full time, despite an interuption that saw the game suspended, and was eventually concluded under floodlights, at the ultra modern stadium in Ikenne-Remo.

The victory took the points tally of Coach Daniel Ogumodede tutored side to nine (9) from four games, one points clear of Lobi Stars of Makurdi who scored twice in the first half of the fixture in Lafia against Abia Warriors of Umuahia, for a comfortable 2-0 victory.

Former table toppers, Bendel Insurance of Benin lost their way at the Pantami Stadium, and fell 0-1 to Gombe United, who got the lone goal five minutes after the break.

In Jos, Albert Hillary was the match winner, as his goal after half an hour ensured that Plateau United edged Edith Agoye's Sunshine Stars of Akure, at the New Jos Stadium, in Zaria Road.

Meanwhile, two clubs, Akwa United and Heartland of Owerri are still embroiled in their quest for their first 3 points of the season. While Akwa United were held to another frustrating goalless home draw, at their new home in Eket by Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan; Heartland FC drew 1-1 with Katsina United despite being gifted an own goal as early as the 3rd minute, and that was their 3rd draw in four games. Katsina United fought back to level matters in the 73rd minute, and took home a share of the spoils; thanks to Michael Okoro Ibe.

In other games decided on Sunday, Enugu Rangers were first to score against Kwara United, but like they did in Ikenne-Remo, the Flying Antelopes failed to hold on for the win and all 3 points. Kazeem Ogunleye gave them the lead, in the 34th minute at the Kwara State Sports Complex, in Ilorin, but the Afonja Warriors coached by Kabiru Dogo equalized on the 53rd minute, through Mohammed Alao, as the encounter ended 1-all.

Fidelis Ilechukwu and his charges will hope for improvements, on their travels, by taking home the point earned in Ilorin, which in fact is their first on the road this season; and helped them to climb the log to 3rd on the NPFL Log; reports.

The only fixture played on Saturday, held in Kaduna where Bala Yahuza scored the solitary goal, as Niger Tornadoes of Minna edged Bayelsa United 1-0; the result means the Ikon Allah Boys are now 7th, tied on 6 points with Bendel Insurance, Gombe United, Plateau United, Abia Warriors and Kano Pillars who defeated Rivers United 1-0, at the Sani Abacha Stadium, in Kofarmata, Kano, on Sunday.

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