By Victor Okoye
Ten-man Akwa United defeated hosts Yobe Desert Stars 1-0 in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Match Day 24 fixture in Damaturu on Sunday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the result meant the Uyo-based team reduced the gap between them and league leaders Lobi Stars to two points.
The Promise Keepers, who had Ayobami Asekunowo sent off for a second bookable offence in the first half, scored 14 minutes from the end through Micheal Ibe who jabbed home Matthew Etim’s cross.
Abdu Maikaba’s men remain in second position on the table with 43 points, while Yobe Desert Stars still remain deeply rooted at the relegation area in the 19th position.
At the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano, fans were served up a thriller as hosts Kano Pillars and Rivers United battled to a 1-1 draw.
Chikere Osita nodded home the opening goal for Rivers United on 12 minutes after an inviting cross by Markson Ojobo.
Junior Lokosa, making his return to Pillars’ starting line-up after recently spending time with the Super Eagles, equalised for the home team two minutes after the break.
It was Lokosa’s 19th goal of the campaign. Rivers United however finished the game with 10 men after Musa Newman was sent off in the 77th minute.
Pillars extended their unbeaten run to seven games following the draw as they held firm to the third spot with 38 points.
Rivers United, on the other hand, are with 34 points and moved a step up to ninth on the NPFL log.
Shedrack Oghali’s 69th minute strike condemned leaders Lobi Stars to their second consecutive defeat at Go Round FC.
They had gone down 0-1 against Enyimba in a rescheduled Match Day 21 encounter in midweek.
The result saw Go Round FC with 29 points leap out of the relegation area to 16th position on the log.
Elsewhere, champions Plateau United needed a late Saidu Salisu penalty kick to earn a share of the spoils against Abia Warriors in Jos.
Salisu gave Kennedy Boboye’s men the lead from a free-kick five minutes after the break, but Sunday Adetunji restored parity for the visitors in the 68th minute.
Abia Warriors took the lead for the first time in the game two minutes later when Samson Obi fired them ahead with his ninth goal of the campaign.
Plateau United were awarded a penalty kick five minutes from the end when Kabiru Ayinde fouled Tosin Omoyele inside the box, but Reuben Bala’s effort was saved by Uche Okafor.
The home fans got a reprieve when their side were awarded another penalty kick in the 90th minute which was converted by Salisu. Both the champions and Abia Warriors remain in fourth and eighth positions respectively.
Goals from Uche John and Joseph Osadiaye helped Enyimba International beat Katsina United 2-0 at the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar.
Enyimba climbed to fifth on the log, while Katsina United dropped to the seventh position.
In other results, Sunshine Stars who handed starting spots to two of their new signings, Kunle Odunlami and Ajibola Otegbeye, beat Nasarawa United 2-0 in Akure.
Jide Fatokun and Sikiru Alimi got the goals.
It was the Owena Waves’ third win in 11 league outings against the Solid Miners.
The Akure-based team who are still struggling in the relegation area moved just a step to 18th on the log, while Nasarawa slipped to the 12th position.(NAN)