The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) has kicked off eventually after just two months in-between the last season and the beginning of a new season.
Kano Pillars vs FC Ifeanyi Ubah
There were mouthwatering fixtures lined up and all but one was marred when players of Nnewi-based side, FC Ifeanyiubah decided to abandon their game after claims of poor officiating.
Host Kano Pillars, whose fans were well behaved despite their opponent’s decision not to continue the game, sure knew their team according to the rules of the game will claim all three points; there was no need to bicker.
Gambo Mohammed scored the only goal of the game in the 30th minute from a rebound after Amos Gyang’s shot ricocheted off the post.
Certainly, the ugly start to the new league season did not however affect other centres on Sunday.
Rangers Vs Abia Warriors
It was a shocking loss for the defending champions, Rangers International who were shoved off by visiting Abia Warriors in an oriental derby at the Cathedral.
New import, Fortune Omoniwari had opened scoring for the Flying Antelopes as early as the 10th minute and teeming fans of the club had expected a total whitewash of their guests, only for Emeka Isaac to equalise for the Felix Emordi tutored side in the 22nd minute.
The Nnamdi Azikwe was finally dead silence when in the 72nd minute, Godwin Zaki ensured all three points for the Umuahia-based outfit.
Final score: Rangers 1-2 Abia Warriors
Rivers United Vs El Kanemi
At the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt, Guy Kueimian put the hosts ahead in the 26th minute, and Emeka Ogbugh made it two for the Stanley Eguma’s side in the 89th minute. Bello Kofarmata got the consolatory goal for El Kanemi in added time (91st minute).
Enyimba vs Sunshine Stars
Six-time champions of the NPFL, Enyimba FC at their new home ground, the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar, recorded a slim win over Sunshine Stars of Akure.
Ibrahim Mustapha scored the only goal in the 20th minute.
Final score: Enyimba FC 1-0 Sunshine Stars
ABS FC vs Akwa United
In Ilorin, newly promoted side, Abubakar Bukola Saraki FC started life in the elite division rather comfortably after dispatching the ‘Promise Keepers’ Akwa United 3-1.
Goals from Mohammed Mohammed (12′), Evbuomwan Stone (30′) and Abubakar Chindo (65′) ensured all three points for the Saraki Boys. Godspower Igudia had given United hope after he equalised in the 19th minute but it all came to naught.
Katsina United Vs Gombe United
It was a battle between newly promoted sides Katsina United and Gombe United and it did live up to its billing at the Mohammed Dikko Stadium, Katsina.
Tasiu Lawal opened scoring in the 8th minute for the ‘Changi boys’, however Gombe United equalized 6 minutes later, when experienced striker Mannir Ubale tucked home.
Just before half time, Suleiman restored the lead for the Bala Nikyu-tutored side; the game stood at 2-1, and a first victory for Katsina United.
MFM FC vs Niger Tornadoes
Three first half goals from Olatunbosun Sikiru, Odey Stephen and Adekunle Adegboyega was enough for Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries Football to record its first home win of the season against Niger Tornadoes in Match Day 1 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) decided at the Soccer Temple, Agege Township Stadium.
The Lagos-based team thrilled their fans with sumptuous display of their tiki-taka brand of football as they recorded the biggest win of the Match Day 1 of the 2016/17 NPFL season.
MFM FC fans were thrown into jubilation mood after 25 minutes of play with Sikiru Olatunbosun netting the first goal of the entertaining encounter off a brilliant assist from Stanley Okorom.
The Olukoya Boys increased the tempo of their attractive brand of football and their effort paid off four minutes after the opening goal when MFM FC’s last season top scorer, Stephen Odey who became a year older today doubled the lead for coach Fidelis Ilechukwu’s men with a master class finish.
Adekunle Adegboyega put the Minna-based outfit to the sword in the 32nd minute of the game as he netted the third goal of the day after he collected a low pass from Olatunbosun.
Coach Bala’s men came out strong in the second 45 minutes of the match as they poured forward in their numbers but the Olukoya Boys defenders stood tall with Folarin Abayomi pulling brilliant saves.
Remo Stars vs Plateau United
Nduka Ugbade got a baptism of fire and a welcome package into the elite division as his boys fell like a pack of cards on their first day in the NPFL.
Life in the top flight will certainly be hard but it will be too early to conclude as there are 37 league fixtures left for the Ogun-based side.
John Kim shocked everyone in the stadium when he shot United in front to the dismay of fans who had expected more from Remo Stars. Kim’s goal came in the 26th minute.
However, before the break, Victor Mbaoma restored parity for Stars in the 44th minute.
Golbe Elisha scored a fantastic free kick for the Kennedy Boboye side, the goal sealed victory for the visitors.
Shooting Stars vs Lobi Stars
The Oluyole Warriors were 2-0 winners over Godwin Koko Uwua’s Lobi Stars. Abdulwaheed Afolabi (22′) and Sunday Faleye (66′) were the goal scorers for Fatai Amoo’s side.
Wikki Tourists Vs Nasarawa United
It was supposed to renew rivalry between the coaches, Baba Ganaru Mohammed who was a former gaffer at Nasarawa United and his then assistant Kabiru Dogo Suleiman.
Much was expected but both sides had to settle for a scoreless draw and one point apiece
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