Sunshine Stars Football Club reclaimed the top spot of the Nigeria Professional Football League following a 2-0 win over Sharks FC of Port Harcourt at the Akure Township stadium on Thursday.
Goals from Prince Aggreh and Tunde Adeniji in the 10th and 68 minutes respectively handed the Akure Arsenal the maximum points that took its points haul to 39 from 21 matches, while Enyimba dropped to second spot with 38 points.
Enyimba had earlier on Wednesday battled Akwa United to a 2-2 draw at Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo to take its tally to 38, thanks to debutant 18-year-old striker, Alloy Browne, who struck a sublime finish to earn the People’s Elephant the spoil.
Akwa United had signified its intent to pick the three points against the six times league champions when Aniekpeno Udoh opened the scoreline in the 3rd minute. However, Enyimba fought back to drew level in the 34th minute through striker Musa Najare who came off injured at half time.
United took the lead for the second time before the hour mark through Aniekan Ekpe strike from the penalty spot before youngster Browne came off the bench to drew level for the visitors.
League champions, Kano Pillars continued its resurgence with a 2-1 victory against visiting Heartland FC. Heartland took an early lead in 22nd minute through Babangida Hassan before Shobowale’s 41st minutes strike drew Pillars level with Rabiu Ali scoring from the penalty spot in the 80th minute to seal victory for the Masu Gida.
Warri Wolves walloped FC Ifeanyi Ubah 3-0 in Warri, thanks to Gbolahan Salami’s brace and strike from Ikechukwu Ibenegbu. Salami gave Wolves the lead in the 18th minutes before completing his brace in the 67th minute while Ibenegbu struck in the 63rd minute.
Elsewhere, Nasarawa United hammered struggling El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri 4-2, overcoming an early goal deficit. Abraham Audu gave the visitors surprise before Esosa Igbinoba equalized for Nasarawa the next minutes. Samuel Zenke gave the host the lead for the first time in the 30th minute with El-Kanemi’s Ibrahim Mustapha equalizing on the stroke of half time. Nasarawa regained the lead in the 51st minute through Abdulbasit Shittu to make it 3-2 before Igbinoba completed his brace and the victory in the 78th minute.
Lobi Stars whipped Bayelsa United 3-0 at the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi. Tony Okpotu scored from the spot on 14 minutes before Enokela Akleche scored a brace in the 20th and 39th minutes to wrap the victory.
Shooting Stars came back from behind to seal a stoppage time goal victory against Wikki Tourists, thanks to Tope Orelope’s brace. The Oluyole Warriors were stunned by Godwin Obaje’s 29th minute strike but fought back to equalize from a spot-kick dispatched by Orelope who would complete his brace in the added time to snatch victory and maximum points.
Abia Warriors defeated Giwa FC 2-0 in Umuahia with Chisom Chikatara netting a brace and his eighth goals in seven home games in Umuahia. The Star sensation, scored in the 22nd and 30th minutes to consign Giwa to another away defeat. Rangers International, however, edged out FC Taraba by a lone goal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu. Rangers’ breakthrough strike came in the 72nd minute through striker, Odah Onoriode.
Kwara United recovered from a goal down to beat Dolphins 2-1 at the Ilorin Township Stadium. Omo Johnson’s first half strike looked set to secure the struggling Port Harcourt club maximum points on the road until Abdullahi Ibrahim and Dare Ojo scored in the 49th and 78th minutes respectively to seal a hard-fought victory for the home side.
By Olisemeka Obeche