Six times champions, Enyimba International extended its lead at the top of Globacom Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) after a 4-0 thrashing of FC Ifeanyi Ubah in week 27 fixtures played at Enyimba Stadium, Aba.
Warri Wolves also beat Shooting Stars Soccer Club (3SC) by similar goal margin to send clear signal of its title ambition.
First half goals from Peter Onyekachi and Andrew Abalogu set Enyimba on course for a comprehensive victory and cruise-control on top of league log. Ezekiel Bassey and Razak Aliyu’s late goals in the 81st and 85th minutes sealed the victory and maximum points for the people’s Elephants.
The Week 27 feat takes Enyimba’s total points to 52, opening a five-point lead ahead of Sunshine Stars and Wolves in second and third places respectively who are tied on 47 points.
Warri Wolves, however, caught up with Sunshine Stars after beating 3SC while the Akure Arsenals were held at home by Heartland.
Wolves, after a frustrating first half, opened the floodgates of goals through Michael Egbeta’s deflected free kick in the 48th minute.
Sikiru Alimi scored the second goal in the 54th minute while Kufre Ebong increased the tally to three five minutes later, before Alimi completed his brace in the 84th minute to seal the victory for Wolves.
In Akure, Sunshine Stars’ loss of form continued as it struggled to break down Heartland defenders, thus playing out a goal-less draw with the visitors. It would be the first time the Gunners would drop points in their Akure fortress this season; and they were happy to have escaped defeat from a profligate Heartland.
Lobi Stars, Abia Warriors and Kano Pillars recorded 1-0 victories against Dolphins, Nasarawa United and Kwara United respectively. Tony Okpotu scored his 10th goal of the season to gift Lobi the maximum points, while Henry Ochuba and Rabiu Ali got the winning goals for Abia Warriors and Pillars respectively.
Elsewhere, FC Taraba pipped Sharks 2-0 in a relegation battle to boost its chances of survival. John Huan Aondongu and Bishop Onyeudo scored for the Jalingo club.
A goal in each half from Godwin Aguda and Onoriode Odah was all that Enugu Rangers needed to snatch maximum points against Wikki Tourists.
Bayelsa United dropped to the bottom of the league table after 1-1 draw with Giwa FC. The former league champions thought its bid to escape drop was well on course when Kadiri Samadi opened the score in the first-half. But, Giwa fought back in the second half with Charles Henlong scoring from the spot, 14 minutes to time to level the score line.
Kokoriko Erepamo failed to convert a late spot kick for Bayelsa United after Osas Idehen was felled in Giwa FC’s box at the death, leaving the embattled Bayelsa club six points adrift of safety.
El-Kanemi were 10 minutes away from winning their first game on the road after Emmanuel Agali gave them a sixth-minute lead at Akwa United. But Ukeme Davies saved Akwa United the blushes of a second home defeat.
By Olisemeka Obeche