NPFL Wrap: Abia Warriors sink Enyimba, Akwa United hold Kano Pillars

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Sikiru Alimi, Remo Stars
Remo media
The two-time African kings tasted defeat in the local derby in Abia, while Sai Masu Gida failed to make home advantage count

Abia Warriors claimed the bragging rights after defeating Enyimba 2-1 in Wednesday’s Nigeria Professional Football League derby.

Unbeaten in their last three matches in the league, Imama Amapakabo’s men welcomed the two-time African champions to the Okigwe Township Stadium.

For the Aba Elephants handled by Finidi George, they were aiming to consolidate on their victory over Wikki Tourist last time out. However, they returned home empty-handed. 

In the gruelling encounter, birthday boy Yakubu Hammed put the hosts ahead on the hour mark as goalkeeper Olorunleke Ojo was left stranded.

While Enyimba were aiming to launch a comeback, Abia Warriors doubled their advantage seven minutes later after Valentine Odoh guided Innocent Gabriel’s defence-splitting pass home. 

On the stroke of half-time, the visitors pulled one goal back courtesy of Pascal Eze as the Aba Elephants went into half-time still hopeful.

Despite numerous attacking forays by George’s side in the second half, they were unable to restore parity, thus crumbled to their eighth loss of the 2021-22 campaign.

Elsewhere, MFM continued their downward move in the Nigerian top-flight after losing 1-0 to Remo Stars. 

Sikiru Alimi - who was making his full debut - scored the only goal for Gbenga Ogunbote’s team in the second minute to boost the hosts’ title aspirations. 

Three minutes after the hour mark, Remo Stars were handed an opportunity to double their lead but Tolulope Ojo's chance struck the woodwork before goalkeeper Isaac Jerry made a simple save.

With this defeat, the Olukoya Boys remain 19th in the NPFL log having accrued 20 points from 21 matches. Remo, on the other hand, moved up to fourth with 35 points from the same number of outings.

At the Lekan Salami Stadium, Shooting Stars could not make home advantage count as they were held to a 0-0 draw by visiting Gombe United.

It was the same scoreline in the northern part of Nigeria as Kano Pillars were held to a goalless draw at home by reigning league champions Akwa United. 

In another keenly contested league match, goals from Chinedu Ohanachom and Abubakar Abdullahi propelled Nasarawa United to a 2-0 triumph over Heartland. 

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Chukwuebuka Okorie was Enugu Rangers’ hero as he piloted them to a 1-0 victory over Katsina United.

The player gave the hosts the lead and that happened to be the only goal of the low-scoring affair. 

Abia Warriors 2-1 Enyimba
Remo Stars 0-0 MFM FC
Dakkada FC 2-0 Kwara United 
Kano Pillars 0-0 Akwa United 
Nasarawa United 2-0 Heartland
Shooting Stars 0-0 Gombe United 
Enugu Rangers 1-0 Katsina United