Kwara United break Rivers United jinx with comeback win

Kwara United break Rivers United jinx with comeback win

The concluding fixtures of the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, were played across different venues in the country on Sunday.

Five home victories and two draws with a total of 11 goals were recorded during the seven games played.

At Ilorin, one of the eagerly anticipated games of the league ended in a dramatic fashion.

Kwara United battled to a 2-1 comeback win over Rivers United at the Ilorin township stadium.

It was Kwara United’s first ever victory over the PortHarcourt based side in seven years.

The early goal from Nelson Esor’s wasn’t enough for the League toppers as Kwara United snatched victory with second half goals from Samad Kadiri and Jide Fatokun.

There was a shouting match between the two clubs before the commencement of game before the issues were resolved.

Before the blink of an eye, Rivers United broke the deadlock from Nelson Esor’s attack on goalkeeper Dele Aiyenugba in the third minute.

10 minutes into the game, Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma was booked for dissent by referee Oginni.

The search for an equaliser began for the Afonja Warriors after they conceded an early goal in the game.

Junior Lokosa’s header failed to drive the ball home in the 24th minute.

Deji Bamidele’s long range shot failed to hit the expected target in the 27th minute.

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Two minutes later, Bamidele was unlucky again as his shot went off target as Kwara United’s search for an equaliser continued.

Rivers United, who have been cautious in their attacks, caught Dele Aiyenugba off duty but Chijioke Akuneto’s aimed effort went off target in the 38th minute.

The first half ended with Rivers United holding tight to their one goal lead

Kwara United’s attack in the second 45 minutes paid off.

11 minutes into the second half, Samad Kadiri made use of the visitor’s defensive error as he restored parity for the Afonja Warriors with a quick-fire shot.

The comeback eventually came after several attempts for Kwara United with Jide Fatokun’s header in the 75th minute.

Five minutes later, River United Joseph Onoja reacted to a cross with a header but went too far.

While they remain on top, Rivers United with Sunday’s defeat blew away a chance to extend their four points gap above Plateau United

On their part, Kwara United maintain the fifth position with 40 points.

Elsewhere, in the Oriental derby, Heartland picked a crucial 2-1 victory over Abia Warriors at the Dan Anyiam stadium.

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Goals from Murphy Ndukwu and Nonso Nzediegwu in the 23rd and 26 minute respectively sent the Naze Millionaires to the 17th position with 28 points.

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The Naze Millionaire made use of their opportunity to open the score line with Murphy Ndukwu close range shot in the 23rd minute.

Abia Warriors’ defeat dropped them to the relegation struggle in the 18th position with 27 points.

At Ikenne, Remo Stars defeated Wikki Tourists by a lone goal to jump to the third position with 43 points.

Lekan Adebayo’s 23rd minute goal was enough for Gbenga Ogunbote’s side to keep the continental dream alive.

Wikki Tourists made their first attempt with Nelson Abian’s 30-yard freekick that was saved by Kayode Bankole in the 14th minute.

Remo Stars who have been impressive at home didn’t fail to get the job done before half-time as Lekan Adebayo finished the attack in the visitors net in the 26th minute.

Ayeni’s Akwa United unbeaten streak ended at Katsina after they suffered a lone goal defeat to the Changi boys.

Destiny Ashadi’s 57th minute goal was enough for the Northerners to escape the relegation zone as they moved to the 14th position with 30 points.

Meanwhile, Akwa United maintains the sixth position with 39 points.

Draw

Another derby at Akure between Sunshine Stars and Shooting Stars at the Akure township stadium ended in a stalemate like the first leg in Ibadan.

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It was Shooting Stars first point on the road after their last one nil victory over MFM in January.

Shooting Stars’ first attempt for goal was in the 17th minute from Archibong Utibe’s wide range header.

Just as it was in Akure, the Olukoya Boys also dropped points at home to Enugu Rangers.

It was another failed effort for MFM to drive above the 20th position with 24 points.

Meanwhile, Rangers’ away point at Lagos wasn’t enough to keep them in the third position as they dropped to the fourth with 42 points.

Results:

Katsina Utd 1-0 Akwa Utd
Sunshine Stars 0-0 3SC
Kwara Utd 2-1 Rivers Utd
MFM 0-0 Rangers
Heartland 2-1 Abia Warriors
Remo Stars 1-0 Wikki Tourists
Lobi 2-1 Nasarawa Utd


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