NPFL Match Day 6: Abia Warriors stun FC IfeanyiUbah, as Akwa United record first win
Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia on Sunday came from a goal down to defeat hosts FC IfeanyiUbah of Nnewi 2-1 in the 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FC IfeanyiUbah had before the Match Day 6 fixture kept five consecutive clean sheets for the first time in their NPFL history.
The hosts however were hoping to record their first league win over their fierce regional rivals since 2015, and they indeed opened scoring after only three minutes through Emmanuel Ugwuka.
Obi Samson however drew Abia Warriors level seconds before the end of the first half, before Shedrack Asiegbu stunned the home crowd by scoring the winning goal in the 59th minute.
The hosts were awarded a penalty kick towards the tail end of the Group B game but goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo did well to stop Charles Okafor’s kick.
The win helped to preserve Abia Warriors’ impressive derby record of winning seven and drawing of eight games.
The away win meant Abia Warriors have now won their second game of the season, with FC IfeanyiUbah suffering their first defeat of the season.
The Abia Warriors now have seven points from five games, and moved out of the relegation zone from 11th to sixth position on the 12-club Group B table.
FC IfeanyiUbah, with 11 points from six games, slipped from the top of the log to the third position.
In other Group B fixtures played on Sunday, Kano Pillars recorded their first win of the league season with a convincing 3-0 win over Nasarawa United.
Kano Pillars were without an NPFL win in four consecutive matches, their longest winless streak since April 2017.
They are now with eight points from six games and moved from the 10th position into fourth on the log.
Nasarawa United, with six points from six games, dropped from sixth to the ninth position.
Akwa United’s coach Raphael Everton finally grabbed his first win of the season as his team recored an emphatic 3-0 victory over Go Round FC.
The Brazilian had not won any of his four previous matches since the beginning of the 2018/2019 season, with the Uyo-based side drawing two and losing two before Sunday.
Akwa United did struggle earlier in the game at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, but Christopher Lolo sent the home fans jubilating in the 47th minute with a fine finish.
Ndifreke Effiong made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute, before Ubong Friday netted the third goal in the 70th minute off an assist from Mfon Udoh.
The victory saw Akwa United, with five points, moving away from the log’s bottom to the 10th position and give the under-pressure Everton some relief.
Club chairman Paul Bassey had read the riot act to him and his team some days ago.
Go Round FC, with eight points from six games, dropped one spot from the fourth position to fifth on the log.
In Maiduguri, El-Kanemi Warriors recorded a narrow 2-1 home win against Yobe Desert Stars to move to 12 points from six games and from fourth to second on the log.
Yobe Desert Stars are with six points from four games and have now dropped from the sixth to ninth position.
Gombe United were held to a barren draw by visiting Plateau United at the Pantami Stadium.
In NPFL Group A fixtures also played on Sunday, Enyimba International of Aba ended a run of three games without a win by edging Rivers United of Port Harcourt 2-0.
Abdulrahmam Bashir and Wasiu Alalade scored in the 37th and 87th minutes respectively for the seven-times Nigerian league champions.
It was Rivers United’s first defeat of the campaign and one which saw them surrender top spot in the NPFL Group A log to MFM FC.
The Lagos side had defeated visiting Wikki Tourists of Bauchi 1-0 at the Agege Stadium to top the table with nine points from five matches.
Chijoke Akuneto scored the decisive goal for MFM FC after he was played through on goal by Mubarak Said.
Sunshine Stars also secured a 2-1 home win against Remo Stars of Sagamu at the Akure Sports Stadium.
Katsina United piled more pressure on Niger Tornadoes’ head coach Bernard Ogbe by handing his side a 3-1 defeat at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium in Katsina.
Martins Usule struck once while Tasiu Lawal struck twice for Katsina United, with Eric Frimpong scoring the Minna side’s only goal of the game.
Katsina United moved from 11th to the fifth position, with Niger Tornadoes still languishing at the bottom of the 12-club log.
NAN reports that a total of 27 goals were scored in 10 games played, with eight home wins, one away victory and a draw recorded.(NAN)