Rivers Utd Beat Dakkada, Other Results
Edidiong Ezekiel 26′, 47 | Chijioke Akuneto 20′, Malachi Ohawume 81′, 90′
Malachi Ohawume was the star performer as Rivers United remain seven points clear at the top of the NPFL log with a hard-fought win at Dakkada FC on Saturday in a rollercoaster of a game at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.
Paul Acquah raced through Dakkada FC defence and beat goalkeeper Loveday Anugbuo but the rebound off the woodwork felt to Chijioke Akuneto who seemingly open the scoring with a shot for Rivers United in the 20th minute.
The Pride of Rivers blockbuster opening to the match was cut short six minutes after taking the lead when Edidiong Ezekiel reacted fastest to head in Emmanuel Ayaosi’s cross ensuring both team went into the interval all tied.
Edidiong Ezekiel was on song again just after the interval when he stylishly shot the host into the lead from an Unwana Asuquo assist.
Credit to Ebube Duru, who took an excellent corner kick to release Solomon Okuruket whose flick found Malachi Ohawume in the goal area up and the forward”s flipped overhead kick found the roof of the net for United’s equalizer nine minutes from full time.
The game still had plenty of life still in it with both sides coming close to scoring the match winner in quick succession.
Rivers United kept pushing to kill off the game, and it was Malachi Ohawume whose completed the comeback when he forced the ball home with a clinical finish from a tight angle, setting up a grandstand finish.
But despite a tense finale, Rivers United held on for the three points in another vital victory in the hunt for a Nigeria Professional Football League title.
The fight against relegation continued for Kano Pillars as they registered a surprise 3-1 away win over Remo Stars in Ikenne.
Auwalu Ali’s brace and Daniel Mark’s goal sealed an important victory for the Sai Masu Gida with Remo Stars getting their consolation goal from Ibrahim Yusuff.
Kano Pillars, who have been poor on the road, showed some sort of transformation with two first-half goals from Auwalu Ali and Mark Daniel.
Despite Remo Stars’ effort on the pitch, Pillars counter-attacked Gbenga Ogunbote’s boys when it mattered.
In the 15th minute, Auwalu Ali set a through ball towards Mark Daniel’s path, who didn’t hesitate to slot it past Kayode Bankole.
Remo Stars thought it was something they could fight back with Dayo Ojo’s clearance going wide in the 25th minute.
Auwalu Ali, who created the first assist, doubled the Sai Masi Gida’s lead from a converted ball from Rabiu Ali in the 35th minute.
With the tempo and fans getting restless in Ikenne, Remo Stars pulled one back from Ibrahim Yusuff’s finish in the 40th minute.
Three minutes into the second half, Auwalu Ali completed his brace from a finished pass from Fahad Usman.
Kano Pillars’ victory sent them to the 12th position with 38 points while Remo Stars stayed in the fourth with 46 points.
The return of former Plateau United coach, Abdul Maikaba to Jos was far from being pleasant as his present team, Rangers were hammered 4-0 by the hosts.ⓘ
This is the second victory for Plateau United over Rangers this season as they completed a double over the Flying Antelopes.
Mohammed Zulkilfulu’s brace and goals from Sunday Anthony and Izuchukwu Chimezie helped the Peace Boys to continue their 100% home victory record in Jos.
Before the end of the first 10 minutes, Plateau United’s Mohammed Zulkilfulu had broken the deadlock from the spot after the referee spotted a handball from Rangers’ captain, Tope Olusesi in the box.
The game became intense as Rangers, who were on the verge of getting an equaliser as they pressured the home side with a series of attacks.
Chidibere Nwobodo’s chance in the 19th minute was parried for a corner by Plateau United.
With more effort being utilised, Rangers had another chance to level from the spot in the 26th minute but Shedrack Aseigbu failed to score past goalkeeper Suraj Ayeleso.
Having missed the penalty kick that should have gotten them back in the game, Rangers came under pressure from the home side.
Plateau didn’t hesitate to capitalize on their disorganisation with Mohammed Zulkilfulu powering home his brace from a close range in the 37th minute.
The second half experienced two more goals from the Peace Boys.
Daniel Itodo, the long throw specialist, set up Izuchukwu Chimezie who scrambled in Plateau United’s third goal in the 65th minute. Zulkilfulu, who had scored twice, created an assist for the fourth goal for Sunday Anthony’s strike in the 77th minute.
Plateau United’s victory over Rangers keeps them in second position with 57 points, nine above Rangers, who have 48 points.ⓘ
In Aba, Enyimba without Finidi George, Olorunleke Ojo, and Victor Mbaoma still got the maximum points against Nasarawa United.
After a series of missed chances by both sides, Enyimba broke the deadlock in the dying moments of the first half.
With a minute left to end the first half, Enyimba went ahead from Samuel Kalu’s rebound shot from Ameh’s Punch to Obioma’s effort.
Early minutes into the second half, Sunday Okereke restored parity for the Solid Miners. The forward responded to King Osanga’s freekick with a well-placed finish.
After Nasarawa equalised, Enyimba upped their game and it didn’t take too long before Emeka Obioma restored their lead from a one-two attack with Sadiq Abubakar in the 52nd minute.
But Enyimba couldn’t maintain their one-goal lead after a reckless affair in the box, Nasarawa United were awarded a penalty, which was slotted in the 77th minute by Michael Tochukwu.
Two minutes later, Enyimba’s chance to reclaim their lead was blown by Captain Austin Oladapo who failed to convert his penalty kick. The Enyimba Captain’s spot-kick was well saved by Nasarawa United goalkeeper, Ameh to keep the game level.
Just a few minutes towards the end of the game, Enyimba won another penalty that led to the sending off of Nasarawa United defender, Ini Edem. The defender had fouled Emeka Obioma in the box.
Ameh was almost close to saving Farouk Mohammed’s penalty and both Enyimba were relieved to snatch victory in the closing stages of the fiercely competitive tie.
Enyimba have now jumped to the sixth position with 45 points while Nasarawa United stay in the 13th position with 38 points.
MFM 3 – 1 Gombe United
Sunshine Stars 2 – 0 Katsina United
Kwara United 1 – 0 Akwa United
Heartland 3 – 1 Shooting Stars
Remo Stars 1 – 3 Kano Pillars
Dakkada 2 – 3 Rivers United
Plateau United 4 – 0 Enugu Rangers
Wikki Tourist 1 – 0 Abia Warriors
Enyimba 3 – 2 Nasarawa United
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