Akwa United have ascended to the summit of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) standings after the second phase of the 2020-21 campaign kicked off.
The Promise Keepers recorded a 2-1 win over Sunshine Stars at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium. Charles Atshimene opened the scoring on 21 minutes and Sadeeq Yusuf netted his ninth goal of the season to equalise for Stars on 35 minutes.
Seth Mayi scored the winner for Akwa United in 72th minute to send his team to the top of the log after amassing 37 points.
Sunshine Stars, meanwhile have dropped into the relegation zone as they sit in 18th place, with 19 points. Kano Pillars are still joint league leaders but they remain in second place after being held to a one-all draw by Warri Wolves in Ozoro.
Auwalu Malam Ali scored Pillars’ first on 58 minutes but Wolves equalised late on through a penalty from Mark Daniel in 86th minute. Pillars have now amassed 37 points but are separated by goals difference which prevents them from being top, while Warri Wolves are 17th on the log after racking up 20 points.
Former league leaders Kwara United have now dropped to third after their 2-1 loss to Nasarawa United in Lafia. Anas Yusuf and Silas Nwankwo were among the goals for Nasarawa United and Wasiu Alalade got a consolation for Kwara United in the final minute of normal time. Kwara United played with 10 men for large parts of the contest after Jide Williams’ two yellow cards got him sent off on 18 minutes.
Nasarawa United meanwhile are sixth on the NPFL table after amassing 33 points from 20 games. Fourth-placed Rivers United defeated Dakkada FC 2-0 at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt. Sunday Adetunji’s goal on 20 minutes opened proceedings and Paul Acquah scored Rivers United’s second on 32 minutes. Rivers United remain fourth and Dakkada remain in ninth after amassing 35 and 29 points respectively.
Rangers International are fifth after overcoming Enyimba with two unanswered goals at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu in a rescheduled matchday 19 fixture. Respective penalty goals from Christian Nnaji (57′) and Elijah Ani (90′) were enough for the Enugu club to gain bragging rights in the Oriental Derby to leave Enyimba in 7th place.
Heartland have risen to eighth after recording a 1-0 win at Adamawa United. Kingsley Maduforo scored the winner 10 minutes from time to add more misery to Adamawa United who remain rooted to the bottom of the log.
Ibrahim Mustapha’s brace helped 10th placed Plateau United to a 2-1 win over Abia Warriors in Jos. Fatai Abdullahi scored Warriors’ only goal on 55 minutes.
Katsina United were unplayable at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium against Wikki Tourists as they put up a five-star performance.
A brace from Rasheed Ahmed and scoring contributions from Joseph Atule, Samuel Nnoshiri and Samuel Kalu helped the Dutse club to a 5-1 win over Wikki. Wikki, who had Nazifi Yahaya sent off scored their consolation goal through Stephen Gopey three minutes after the break.
Saturday, May 8, 2021
Jigawa Golden Stars 2 – 1 Lobi Stars
Sunday, May 9, 2021
Rangers International 2 – 0 Enyimba
Akwa United 2 – 1 Sunshine Stars
Rivers United 2 – 0 Dakkada
FCNasarawa United 2 – 1 Kwara United
Katsina United 5 – 1 Wikki Tourists
Warri Wolves 1 – 1 Kano Pillars
Plateau United 2 – 1 Abia Warriors
Adamawa United 0 – 1 Heartland
Story by Humphrey Njoku