Enyimba International overtook Sunshine Stars FC at the summit of Globacom Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) table on Sunday despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Enugu Rangers at Aba. Sharks on the other hand, kept its recovery momentum with 2-1 victory over Warri Wolves to move up to 16th position on the log.

The Match Day 20 Oriental derby took off on a very dramatic fashion when Onoriode Odah headed Rangers International in front in the 9th minutes. And Enyimba’s efforts to recover from the early goal paid off in the 37th minutes when debutante, Musa Najere drew level, with both teams failing to score another goal for the remaining duration of the game. The draw took Enyimba’s total points to 37 from 20 games while Sunshine dropped to second position after a 0-1 loss to FC Taraba.

The Match Day 20 victory against the Akure Arsenals was FC Taraba’s first victory in four months and 18 days and ended its 17 games winless streaks. And the famous breakthrough was secured through Stephen Adah’s 43rd minute strike, off a rebound from Ibrahim Sanusi’s missed spot kick.

The Jalingo club had began the season in sparkling form by winning their opening two games – beating Enugu Rangers 3-2 and winning on the road at Akwa United 1-0 on March 15 to emerge the surprise league leaders. But financial dire strait pegged it back and with 17 games winless run, the Jalingo club found itself in bottom position.

League champions, Kano Pillars, however, secured a vital 2-1 victory over Lobi Stars, thanks to goals from Rabiu Ali and Shehu Shagari in the 21st and 35th minutes respectively while Tony Okpotu got the consolation goal for Lobi in the  48th minute.

Earlier on Saturday, Sharks FC of Port Harcourt swam out of the relegation zone following a hard-earned 2-1 victory against Warri Wolves. Goals from Frederick Obomate and Chiamaka Madu in Yvette 26th and 40th minutes respectively ensured the Blue Angels picked the maximum points that lift them out of the relegation zone while Kufre Ebong grabbed a consolation for the Wolves in 84th minute.

The second Port Harcourt club, Dolphins also secured a comfortable 3-1 victory against Nasarawa United on Saturday. Ifeanyi Egwim scored the league’s first hattrick with goals in the 33rd, 39th and 58th minutes to hand the home side three points after Nasarawa’s  Esosa Igbinoba opener in the 25 minutes.

El-Kanemi Warriors and Giwa FCs secured vital 1-0 home victories against Shooting Stars and Kwara United respectively. Abraham Audu’s 65th minute strike prove decisive for El-Kanemi while a 48th minute goal by Charles Henlong gave Giwa the maximum points against Kwara United.

Elsewhere, Wikki Tourists, FC Ifeanyi Ubah and Bayelsa United were held at home by Heartland, Abia Warriors and Akwa United respectively. While Wikki versus Heartland ended in barren draw, that between Ifeanyi Ubah vs Abia Warriors and Bayelsa United vs Akwa United ended 1-1 each.

Ifeanyi Ubah needed a Yusuf Afeez’s 53rd minute’s spot kick to cancel out 25 minutes goal by Christopher Omeseibe for Abia Warriors whereas Bayelsa United was denied a victory by a stoppage time (90+2 minutes) by Aniekpeno Udoh which cancelled out Salomon Junior’s 61 minutes opener.

GloNPFL Match Day 20 Results

•Dolphins 3-1 Nasarawa United

•Sharks 2-1 Warri Wolves

•El-Kanemi Warriors 1-0 Shooting Stars

•Wikki Tourists 0-0 Heartland

•Giwa FC 1-0 Kwara United

•FC Ifeanyiubah 1-1 Abia Warriors

•FC Taraba 1-0 Sunshine Stars

•Bayelsa United 1-1 Akwa United

•Kano Pillars 2-1 Lobi Stars

•Enyimba 1-1 Rangers

By Olisemeka Obeche


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