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Rangers Int'l Soar Past Remo Stars in Enugu, As Lobi Stars Cling to Top Spot

February, 28 2024.

... Changi Boys edge Pillars in Arewa Derby

Rangers Int'l FC of Enugu powered into the top three of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), on a day midweek fixtures were characterized by the top two sides, Lobi Stars of Makurdi, and Remo Stars of Ikenne, 'contrived' to lose their Day 22 games, on the road.

Remo Stars lost 0-1 to Enugu Rangers, for whom Augustine Agu Kenechukwu got the solitary goal in the 56th minute, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, aka the Cathedral.

The win is the third, in as many games for the Flying Antelopes in the 2nd round of the league, and the Coal City side is now 3rd in the table, with 37 points; just 2 points adrift of Lobi Stars who clinged to the top spot, despite losing the "battle of stars" 0-2 to Sunshine Stars, in Akure.

The victory handed Coach Kennedy Boboye his first 3 points, as Head Coach of the Akure Gunners, having replace Edith Agoye, during the mid-season break.

For Lobi Stars, John Lazarus was the valian in the sense that he bagged a 13th minute Red Card, and the resultant penalty was turked in cooly by Vincent Temitope, before Chiedozie Iwundu scored in the 32nd minute, to seal the much needed victory for Sunshine Stars.

As expected, the Arewa derby between Katsina United and Kano Pillars, was fiercely fought at the Mohammed Dikko Stadium, and the host team, Katsina United FC edged the five-goal thriller 3-2 to extend their good run, under the tutulage of Coach Abubakar Bala.

Jonas Emmanuel (33rd min), Azeez Falolu (67th min), and Nazifi Yahaya (70th min) ensured that the Changi Boys went 3-1 up at a time, with Ibrahim Mustapha Yuga drawing the Sai-Masugida level in the 59th minute, while Umar Shehu netted in the 78th minute to reduce the two-goal deficit.

But the performance of the day, has to go to Plateau United of Jos, who trounced hapless Heartland FC of Owerri 5-1 at their adopted home in Aba.

There were five different scorers for the visitors, for whom Olawale Doyeni got the opener in the 14th minute, and Harrison Ebah scored 4 minutes into added time to round off the win; while Heartland FC who will remain rooted to the foot of the table, got a consolatory goal, just before the final whistle.

The seeming run of poor form, of Doma United FC of Gombe was future exposed in Yenagoa, where Ekeson Okorie scored both goals as Bayelsa United thrashed the Savannah Tigers 2-0 at the Samson Siasia Stadium, to solidify their resurgence.

Meanwhile, the travails of Akwa United is getting more and more complicated, as struggling Sporting FC of Lagos came from a goal down, in the 51st minute, to edge the Promise Keepers 2-1 at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, in Onikan, Lagos; thanks to two late goals by Tochukwu Udeh in the 84th and 90+3 minutes.

Aside the Rivers United FC versus Niger Tornadoes of Minna clash that was paused by the league regulators; two other Day 22 fixtures - Enyimba Int'l FC versus Gombe United FC; and Abia Warriors of Umuahia versus Kwara United were postponed, for varied reasons.

Elsewhere, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan will today host familiar foes, Bendel Insurance of Benin, at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, in Adamasingba; reports.

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