Katsina United, Akwa United Share The Spoils

…As Dakkada FC Slumped In Nnewi


By Etop Umoidem


Despite the sudden outbreak of the coronavirus which has held global activities hostage and subsequently leading to the suspension of some football leagues in the world or any football-related activities as part of the measures to control the spread of the said virus which has claimed many lives and others being isolated for suspicion of contracting it; the Nigeria Professional Football League continued with its scheduled match day 24, with matches across all the centres of the nation.


In Katsina centre where home side Katsina United hosted Akwa United FC of Uyo, it ended 1 – 1 in a pulsating fixture that saw centre referee, Iranloye Shina, over-ruling what was adjudged a genuine goal by the visitors to the chagrin of many people at the stadium. The Uyo-based outfit made a strong statement of intent right from the blast of the whistle when they took the game to their host with great determination and zeal to nib the three maximum points that were at stake. The resultant pressure yielded positively inside five minutes when they earned their first corner that resulted in the cancelled goal.


The disallowed goal seemed to spur up the Coach Boboye’s boys who had the game under their control with deft touches and good position of play which paid up handsomely as Ndifreke Effiong scored his 11th goal of the season after being teed up by Ukeme Williams. The first half ended with Akwa United as the better team as they led by 1 – 0.


Second half was a little bit different for Katsina United as they started the half on a front foot and of the intention to get themselves back in the game. They were awarded a free-kick at the edge of Akwa United box, the resultant free-kick was blasted wide by Tasiu Lawal much to the relief of the Promise Keepers’, David Philip, Ukeme Williams, Salisu Saidu, Ndifreke Effiong who all stood out on their performance against Katsina United as goal keeper Jean Efala was barely threatened throughout the encounter, although he pulled a brilliant save in the 50th minute to still keep his team in the lead.


However, in the 83rd minute, Lukeman Muhammed leveled scores for the home side to ensure that both teams share the spoil.


Despite the one point earned in Katsina, Akwa United slipped from 6th to 7th on the log with 34 points from 23 games but with a game in hand. They will next engage Nasarawa United in mid-week in Lafia on Match-day 25.


In the match between FC Ifeanyiubah and Dakkada FC of Uyo, Ifeanyiubah finally turned the corner after a poor run of form, as goals from Samuel Kalu in the 2nd minute and Uche Onuoha 25th minute saw them go 2 goals up in the first half.
However, Eso Archibong pulled a goal back from the spot after Femi Ajayi was upended in the box, but the goal was not enough to see Dakkada at least get a point.


From the football cathedral in Enugu, Rangers needed a win to boost their continental hopes, and a goal from Chinonso Eziekwe in the 39th minute saw them come away with a win against Rivers United to deal a devastating blow on Rivers United title hop.


Two very late goals from Michael Okoyoh in the 89th minute, and Charles Atshimene in the 90th minute, saw Warri Wolves snatched all three points from MFM FC of Lagos.


The loss further compounds the woes of the Lagos-based side, who have found form hard to come by and have been flirting with relegation zone lately in the table.


From Umuahia, Abia Warriors were involved in a stunning and dramatic comeback that saw them come away with a win.


Second-half goals from Yakub Hammed in the 46th minute, and a winner from Fatai Abdullahi in the 90+5 minute from the penalty spot overruled a goal from John-Paul Chinedu in the 45th minute for the away side.


Enyimba bounced back from a continental disappointment with a victory over Sunshine Stars of Akure.


Martins Usule opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Stanley Dimgba doubled the lead in the 59th minute before Dare Olatunji put the icing on the cake with a goal in 90+2 of the match to see the Nigerian giants come out 3-0 winners.


Plateau United kept their league title hope alive as a late goal saw the Jos-based team get all three points against league strugglers, Nasarawa United.


Amos Gyang scored from the penalty spot early on. However, Chinedu Ohanachom equalized for the away team in the 40th minute. The winner, however, came from Ibrahim Mustapha in the 82nd minute to see Plateau United continue their title challenge.


There were 22 goals scored in all 10 games, with a number of the goals coming in the last ten minutes of the match. There were nine home wins and just one draw away from home.


Plateau United’s win saw them further extend their lead away from Rivers United by 4 points. Rangers, Kano Pillars, and Enyimba are hot on the continental places with little separating them.

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