Wednesday, January 24, 2018 10:30 pm
Defending champions Plateau United returned to winning ways after their first Premier League defeat of the season on Wednesday after thrashing El-Kanemi Warriors 3-0 in a Match Day 4 fixture.
The Jos-based clubside were stunned 1-0 by Abia Warriors on Sunday and dropped to seventh position on the Nigeria Professional League (NPFL) table coming into the game
However, Jimmy Ambrose opened scoring just two minutes into Wednesday home match, while Joshua Obaje added a second four minutes later.
Raphael Ayagwa rounded up scoring for the champions in the 49th minute at the Rwang Stadium in Jos.
Erstwhile table-toppers Lobi Stars, the only club who until Wednesday were yet to lose a game in the league this season, came up short against hosts Yobe Desert Stars in Damaturu.
The Damaturu side who are back in the top flight after 15 years sat in 13th position with three points coming into the game.
But a lone goal by Chinedu Ohanachom in the 74th minute ensured that the hosts leapt to 9th position, while thekir Makurdi-based visitors slipped to fourth on the NPFL log.
Sunshine Stars and Rivers United clashed in arguably the biggest game of the round at the Akure Township Stadium, with the hosts defeating Rivers United 2-0.
Second half goals from Bala Yahuza and Franklin Sasere in the 76th and 83rd minutes respectively ensured that Sunshine Stars went joint fourth with Lobi Stars.
Rivers United dropped to 14th on the log.
However, the day’s outstanding result saw visiting Akwa United FC of Uyo stun hosts Niger Tornadoes 2-1 at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja.
Denis Nya put Akwa United in front from the penalty kick spot in the 23rd minute, but Nosiru Afees got the equaliser for the hosts in the 43rd minute.
Victor Mbaoma then scored the winner for the visitors in the 72nd minute.
The result meant Niger Tornadoes slipped from third position to seventh, with Akwa United moving to second on the league’s log at the end of Match Day 4.
Five other matches were also played on Wednesday, with hosts Kano Pillars defeating Abia Warriors 2-1 at the Sani Abacha Stadium.
The result shot Kano Pillars to third, while Abia Warriors dropped further to eighth position on the log.
MFM FC who were stuck in the relegation zone in the 17th position defeated FC IfeanyiUbah of Nnewi 2-1 at the Agege Stadium in Lagos to climb to the 13th spot.
Jesse Akila opened scoring in the 14th minute, but Pascal Seka drew level for the visitors in the 31st minute, before Sikiru Olatunbosun got the winner in the 43rd minute.
FC IfeanyiUbah slipped to the sixth position on the NPFL log.
At the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium in Enugu, Rangers International built on their first win of the season against oriental rivals Heartland away on Sunday by beating visiting Katsina United 1-0.
Godwin Aguda scored the only goal of the match for the hosts in the 78th minute.
The win helped ease pressure on coach Gbenga Ogunbote as the Enugu boys shot to 11th, while Katsina United slumped to 15th on the log.
Bottom-placed Kwara United picked their first win of the campaign against Wikki Tourists in Ilorin, winning 1-0 as Stephen Alfred scored the match’s only goal in the 14th minute.
They had lost all three games this season coming into the game, but the win ensured they climbed one spot from the bottom of the log to 19th, while Wikki Tourists slipped down to 12th.
At Omoku, newcomers Go Round FC of Port Harcourt held Heartland FC of Owerri to a 1-1 draw to slip one step down to 16th, while Heartland maintained their 18th spot.
Chidi Nwachukwu opened scoring in the 9th minute, before Julius Ubido equalised for Heartland in the 53rd minute.
Seven-time champions Enyimba who are with two draws and a defeat from their opening three games will host Nasarawa United at the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar on Thursday.
NAN reports that a total of 19 goals were scored on Match Day 4 with seven home wins, a draw and an away victory recorded.