Friday, February 03, 2012

NPL wrap for Week 6

Matchday Six almost produced an average of three goals per game with leaders, Gombe United accounting for five of the goals. Bernard Ogbe’s men were in the news for all good reasons, as Mustapha Babadidi and Sanusi Sani declared their intent on becoming the goal king this term with the latter firing a treble past hapless Sharks.

Dolphins completed a miserable outing for Port Harcourt-based clubs on the day by losing at 3SC and dropping out of the top five. The games were held on Wednesday and Thursday, and all home teams won.

Enugu Rangers 3 – 1 Kano Pillars
Okey Emordi’s men in spite of the financial challenges at Enugu Rangers raced into a two-goal lead at the end of the first half through Chikeluba Ofoedu and Chinedu Sunday. But 11 minutes into the restart, Mannir Ubale restored a bit of pride for Kano Pillars, as they pressed for an equaliser.

It was, however, the youngster from Inter Enugu, Emeka Eze that put the game beyond the Kano-based club with 18 minutes left to help Rangers climb into the top four in the standings, as Pillars remained outside of the top half.

Kwara United 3 – 1 Kaduna United
Kwara Football Academy apprentice, Barnabas Imenger slotted home his first goal of the season for Kwara United to go in front. But new boy, Charles Ikenna left the home fans stunned when he drew Kaduna United level on the stroke of half time.

The resistance of Maurice Cooreman’s men was broken in the last 20 minutes as Imenger helped himself with a second of the afternoon before Segun Alebiosu rounded off a fine performance for the home side to remain in the top four. Cooreman’s team are now 19th in the standings.

Heartland 2 – 0 Rising Stars
Osas Okoro hardly allowed newcomers, Rising Stars to settle in at the Samuel Okwaraji Stadium in Orlu when he produced a first minute goal. But Sunday Erelesusi’s men kept their composure and battled back into the game in resolute fashion.

But it was former Kano Pillars forward, Bello Kofarmata that signed, sealed and delivered the full points for Lodewijk de Kruif’s squad as they leapt from 17th position to 10th. The loss in Orlu was the first for Rising Stars.

Wikki Tourists 2 – 1 Lobi Stars

Inside the opening 20 minutes, this game produced two quick-fire goals from both clubs. It was Lobi that blinked first, as Osita Henry netted for the Tourists on 11 minutes. Moses Orkuma restored parity within five minutes, as Lobi Stars looked like they will escape Bauchi with a point. Three minutes into the second 45, striker Tunde Aremu got the winner and the hosts closed shop from that point.

Wikki are now seventh on the log with nine points from five games while Lobi hover above the drop with three points and with an outstanding game to play.

Enyimba 2 – 0 Ocean Boys
Josiah Maduabuchi proved that he will play a key part in Enyimba’s title push this season when scored twice in each half to hand the Peoples Elephant a two-goal win over 2006 champions, Ocean Boys. The playmaker scored on 10 and 60 minutes but will now be out for two weeks after he suffered a recurring hamstring injury.

Enyimba are now four points behind the NPL leaders but with a game in hand while the Divine Warriors drop into the bottom four with three points from five matches.

Sunshine Stars 3 – 0 Niger Tornadoes
As expected Sunshine Stars overran Niger Tornadoes in Ijebu-Ode on Wednesday in this game. The contest looked already done and dusted for Gbenga Ogunbote’s squad as they made the game look like a one-sided boxing bout with Tornadoes receiving punch after punch.

Seun Olaoye and captain Godfrey Oboabona got Sunshine Stars’ goals in the first half and former Enyimba attacker, Osas Idehen scored the third on 78 minutes to ensure the hosts got their second win of the season.

Sunshine Stars are now in the top half of the table, as Tornadoes slipped from seventh place to 12th.

Warri Wolves 2 – 0 Jigawa Golden Stars
Jigawa Golden Stars gave Paul Aigbogun’s men a real scare in the first period of this game, which ended goalless. But Wolves made sure that Abdul Pele’s team remained in the bottom three with goals from Francis Nnedum and Uruemu Egbeta on 56 and 66 minutes respectively.

Wolves move into second place and are two points behind pacesetters, Gombe United.

3SC 1 – 0 Dolphins
The champions will have themselves to blame for their sloppiness in front of goal. 3SC benefited from a defensive mix-up to earn a spot kick, which goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye calmly put away on 16 minutes and in expert fashion by sending his opposite number, Sunday Rotimi in the wrong direction.

Festus Allen’s 3SC then held on for the remaining 74 minutes as Stanley Eguma sent on his new signing, Ifeanyi Egwim to salvage the situation without success. 3SC are now eighth in the standings with eight points and Dolphins drop out of the top five.

Gombe United 5 – 0 Sharks
The Blue Angels have had it tough in the past six years at Gombe United. This time they left the Pantami Stadium with their biggest defeat in Gombe, as they suffered a five-nil loss. It was the show of Babadidi and Sani, who shared the game into two halves.

Teenage striker, Babadidi made the first half his show by netting a brace and Sani produced an even better display in the second by scoring a hat-trick in the space of 31 minutes to kill off Sharks.

Akwa United 2 – 1 ABS FC
This was the only game that took place on Thursday, as Akwa United made sure that the home teams got a 100 percent result on this matchday.

Dauda Eboh put The Promise Keepers in front on two minutes. Abiodun Sala rallied ABS FC back into the game just before the break.

Akwa United got the winner through Solomon Jabason with 10 minutes to play, as ABS FC are left in search of their first win this term.

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