Tuesday, February 07, 2012

NPL wrap for Week 7

Champions Dolphins returned to winning ways by halting the unbeaten start of table-topping Gombe United and closing the gap at the summit of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) standings to just a point.

At the other end of the table, ABS FC finally got their first win to lift them away from the bottom but with lots of work still to do this season.

But the talking point is Sanusi Sani of Gombe United getting his sixth goal in six games to emerge leading scorer so far with teammate, Mustapha Babadidi and Azuka Ebinum (Niger Tornadoes) on five goals each.

Niger Tornadoes 1 – 0 Wikki Tourists
Striker Azuka Ebinum rallied home the winner on 20 minutes for the hosts to pick their third win of the season in six matches. It was Ebinum’s fifth goal of the season, as he closed in on the race for the leading scorers. Tornadoes climb into the top half of the table and Wikki drop from seventh to eighth place.

Sharks 0 – 0 Akwa United
The Blue Angels continued their miserable start to the season, as they failed to win in their last three matches. Akwa United’s number one, Femi Thomas pulled off a top drawer performance to make sure that The Promise Keepers leave Port Harcourt with a point. John Obuh’s men drop into the bottom four while Akwa United maintain their modest start to the season by staying in the top 10 of the standings.

Rising Stars 0 – 0 Enugu Rangers
New boys, Rising Stars notched up their fourth draw this season. Enugu Rangers’ head coach, Okey Emordi expressed happiness with taking a point at Rising Stars though would have loved to win. “It’s a decent result though a win would have been better,” he told SuperSport.com.

Rangers remain fourth on the log while Rising Stars are still outside of the top half.

Kano Pillars 2 – 0 Kwara United
This game was played behind closed doors at the Sani Abacha Stadium after the hosts insisted on remaining at their home ground in spite of security concerns in Kano. And as expected Baba Ganaru’s men got the three points. Striker Gambo Mohammed got his first goal of this term just three minutes before the hour-mark and former Bayelsa United man, Mannir Ubale made sure that Kano Pillars get all points with a second goal to inflict a first loss on Kwara United this season.

Lobi Stars 1 – 0 Heartland
Heartland’s pitiable form on the road did not improve at the temporary home ground of Lobi Stars – the Old Parade Ground in Abuja, as they suffered a goal defeat. It was Lodewijk de Kruif’s men fourth defeat in six matches, which leaves them in 14th position just one place above Lobi Stars.

ABS FC 2 – 0 3SC
Festus Allen’s 3SC collapsed in the space of four mad minutes in the first 45.
Goals from Andrew Abalogu and Abiodun Sala just ten minutes before half time sealed a first win for ABS FC at the Ilorin Township Stadium on Sunday. The win only lifted the Saraki Boys from bottom place by a step while 3SC are now in tenth position with eight points from six games.

Ocean Boys 0 – 0 Warri Wolves
Sunday’s goalless draw against Warri Wolves means that the Divine Warriors, as Ocean Boys are also called, replace ABS FC at the base of the NPL log with four points from six matches. Paul Aigbogun’s men remain the only unbeaten side this term after six rounds of matches and are still in the top three.

Dolphins 2 – 1 Gombe United
Dolphins stormed back into the top two of the standings by imposing a first defeat on high-flying Gombe United. Adamu Mohammed opened score for the hosts on 23 minutes against his former team but Sanusi Sani drew Gombe United level before half time with his sixth goal of the season.

But it was new boy, Seidu Abuu, for Dolphins that got the winner. The Ghanaian defensive midfielder proved a shrewd signing for Stanley Eguma’s men by getting an important goal on his debut.

Jigawa Golden Stars 1 – 0 Sunshine Stars
Last season’s runners-up, Sunshine Stars surprisingly suffered a goal defeat at the Hadejia Township Stadium. Nobel Ansor got the winner on 63 minutes to help Jigawa Golden Stars climb out of the drop while Sunshine Stars’ slow start to the season continues.

Kaduna United 1 – 0 Enyimba
Belgian coach, Maurice Cooreman masterminded a 1 – 0 defeat on his former team, Enyimba. It was attacking midfielder Nasiru Useni’s first half goal that sealed a second win of the season for Kaduna United who still remain in the bottom four while six-time champions, Enyimba are four points behind the leaders, Gombe United though with an outstanding game.

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