Nigerian Professional Football League returned from recess over the weekend in dramatic fashion with classical showdowns on Match Day 11 that produced seven home wins, one score draw, one scoreless draw and 25 goals.
At the end of the Super-Sunday showdowns, Giwa FC climbed above Sunshine Stars of Akure at the summit of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) table following an emphatic 2-0 victory against Ifeanyi Uba FC (formerly Gabros) at the Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos.
Goals from Charles Henlong and Ocheme Edoh, produced the maximum three points that raised the Jos-based club’s tally to 20 points from 11 matches, same as second-placed Sunshine Stars but with better goals difference.
Sunshine Stars were just minutes away from snatching vital away point against Abia Warriors and retaining the top spot after coming from behind to tie the scoreline at two all before a controversial last minute spot kick converted by Chisom Chikatara sealed the victory for the Umuahia-based club and dented the Afonja warriors’ impressive run of recent games.
Sunshine went into the tie requiring just a point to remain at the summit of the standings, but failed to do enough in an intense battle that produced five goals.
Enyimba FC’s climb up the league table continued with a hard-fought scoreless draw against Wikki Tourists in Bauchi. Goalkeeper Chijioke Ejiogu’s top class saves ensured the People’s Elephant took a valuable point from Wikki to increase its tally to 19 points from 11 matches and third behind Giwa and Sunshine.
Week 11 also witnessed another explosive Port Harcourt derby with Dolphins and Sharks grinding out a 1-1 draw at the Liberation Stadium. Yusuf Jaiyeola scored for the visitors in the 52nd minute before Ghanaian Godbless Asamoah equalised for Stanley Eguma’s side just six minutes from the end.
Elsewhere, El-Kanemi Warriors came from a Bobby Abel’s 18th minute goal down to beat FC Taraba 2-1, thanks to Ibrahim Mustapha’s brace.
Heartland FC, however, whipped Bayelsa United 4-1 at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri. Bright Ejike’s brace and goals from Saibou Badarou and Julius Ubido ensured the Naze Millionaires took the maximum points with comprehensive scoreline against the embattled Yenagoa clubside who secured a consolation goal through Anthony Abawula in the 71st minute.
Junior Ajayi scored twice with Ajani Ibrahim adding the third as Shooting Stars thumped Lobi Stars 3-0 in Ibadan, while Kwara United beat Enugu Rangers 3-1 in Ilorin. Nasarawa United beat Akwa United by a lone goal in Lafia thanks to an Ibrahim Ibrahim 6th minute goal.
NPFL Week 11 Results
Wikki 0-0 Enyimba
Dolphins 1 – 1 Sharks
Heartland 4-1 Bayelsa United
Shooting Stars 3-0 Lobi Stars
Kwara Utd 3-1 Rangers
Abia Warriors 3-2 Sunshine Stars
Giwa FC 2-0 Ifeanyi Uba FC
El-Kanemi 2-1 FC Taraba
Nasarawa Utd 1-0 Akwa Utd
By Olisemeka Obeche