Monday, July 24, 2017

NPFL WEEK 31 ROUNDUP:PLATEAU UNITED EDGES CLOSER TO TITLE AS MFM ALSO CLOSES IN.

Matchday 31 of the Nigeria Professional Football (NPFL) produced a lot of fireworks and drama as we head into the final 6 matches of the season. This is the review of how things went in the various venues.

(RIVERS  UNITED 3-1 WIKKI TOURIST)
Rivers United shocked all fans and journalist over the weekend by scoring 3 league goals for the first time this season, as they defeated helpless Wikki Tourists 3-1. Guy Keumian, Emeka Ogbugh and Chiwendu Ali got the goals for Rivers United, while Abubakar Lawal got Wikki's Tourist consolation goal.

AKWA UNITED 2-1 NASARAWA UNITED)

This fixture had the NPFL two outstanding goalkeepers on display, Suraj Ayeleso (Nasarawa United) and Ojo Olorunreke (Akwa United) both goalkeepers conceded in the battle for cleansheets as Akwa United beat Nasarawa United 3-1. Aminu Kadir opened the scoring for Nasarawa United, before goals by Ubong Friday and Christian Pyagbara completed Akwa's comeback which also made them leapfrog MFM to move up to 2nd on the NPFL table.

ABS 2-0 ENUGU RANGERS
Ilorin based side ABS FC produced a well commanding display and performance as they beat NPFL defending champions, Enugu Rangers in a relegation battle. ABS got their goals through Abubakar Chindo and Wasiu Alalade to boost their hopes of staying up.

3SC 1-0 ENYIMBA
3SC also moved out of the drop zone with a 1-0 win against the peoples elephant and 7-time champions Enyimba. Abayomi Adebayo's early goal in the first half proved to be the match-winner for 3SC and a defeat for Enyimba who are really having another disappointing season.

KANO PILLARS 2-0 REMO STARS
Kano Pillars beat rock-bottom and relegation bound Remo Stars 2-0 at the Sani Abacha stadium in KANO with goals from Nyima Nwagua and Sikiru Kamal to compound Remo stars woes.

SUNSHINE 1-0 ELKANEMI WARRIORS
In Ijebu-Ode, Sikiru Alimi was the hero as Sunshine also in a battle for survival created some  distance between them and the bottom 4 with a 1-0 win over ElKanemi Warriors.

FC IFEAYIN UBAH 2-2 GOMBE
In Nnewi, Gombe United stunned Fc Ifeanyi Ubah as two second half goals by Sanni Abanni and Austine Oladapo spoilt the celebration mood for Fc Ifeayin Ubah's Isaac Loute who scored two brilliant freekicks.

TORNADOES 0-0 ABIA WARRIORS
The Niger based side currently playing their home games in Lokoja played out a goalless draw but had little to cheer as goalkeeper Mustapha Aliko moved to the top of the cleansheet list after the draw 0-0 with Abia Warriors.

LOBI STARS 0-0 PLATEAU UNITED
League Leaders, Plateau United boosted their chances of winning their first league title with a goalless draw against a Lobi Stars side who mis-fired while trying to unsettle the leaders. A point gained by plateau united as they edge closer to title triumph.

The game between MFM and KATSINA UNITED at the Agege Stadium, lagos which was postponed due to heavy rain & waterlogged pitch resumed on Monday (today) at 8am with MFM edging out Katsina united 3 vs 2 to put pressure on Plateau united in a highly contested fixture.
MFM opened scoring in the 15th minute through top scorer Stephen Odey (His 18th strike of the season) after an assist by Sikiru Olatunbosun. The lead was soon doubled in the 29th minute with goal from Sikiru Olatunbosun and this time assisted by Stephen Odey.
The second half resumed with Katsina pulling one goal back in the 69th minute through Destiny Ashadi from a direct freekick and 9 minutes later Obinna Eleje drew level with a goal which looked like a training ground freekick routine but a fine response by Chukwuka Onuwa of MFM one minute later was the match winner, tapping in from Okorom pass.

The NPFL table as it stands: (Top 4)
Plateau Utd (1st)
MFM (2nd)
Akwa United (3rd)
Enyimba (4th)

(Bottom 4)
Rangers (17th)
ABS (18th)
Gombe United (19th)
Remo Stars (20th)

Stephen Odey of MFM still leads the Top Scorers chart at the end of week 31 games.

18- Stephen Odey (MFM)
14- Tony Okpotu (Lobi Stars)
12- Sunday Adetunji (Abia Warriors)
12- Samuel Mathias (El-kanemi Warriors)
12- AlHassan Ibrahim (Akwa United)

Also in the battle for the golden glove (MOST CLEANSHEETS), we have:

13- Mustapha Aliko (Tornadoes)
12- Suraj Ayeleso (Nasarawa United)
12- Olorunleke Ojo (Akwa United)
11- Dele Ajiboye (Plateau)

By Emmanuel Ndibe
Edited by Cosmos Chukwuemeka

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