NPFL Matchday 23 Round-up: Draws galore as Rivers, Plateau United extend lead atop standings
Violence erupts in Kano, derby match abandoned
The 2021-22 NPFL Matchday 23 fixtures served up a lot of draws, with a feisty derby turning violent up north and the league’s frontrunner maintaining their lead.
Two first-half goals were enough for Rivers United to claim a straightforward 2-0 win over bitter rivals Enyimba in their NPFL Matchday 23 clash in Port Harcourt. The league’s leading scorer Ishaq Rafiu Kayode scored his 12th goal of the season from the penalty spot after Enyimba skipper Austin Oladapo fouled him in the box. Chiamaka Madu added a second for the Pride of Rivers shortly after the half-hour mark.
Plateau United picked up a 2-0 win over relegation-threatened MFM FC at the New Jos Stadium, keeping them within four points of leaders Rivers United. Ibrahim Buhari and Haggai Katoh scored the goals that gave the Peace Boys all three points from the game.
Shooting Stars claimed a brilliant 3-0 win over Lobi Stars in their NPFL Matchday 23 clash at the Lekan Salami Stadium. Emmanuel Lucky scored twice for the Oluyole Warriors before former Sunshine Stars youngster Ayo Adejubu added a late third for the home side.
Gombe United claimed a hard-earned point against champions Akwa United after a 1-1 draw at the Pantami Stadium in Gombe. Adam Yakubu opened the scoring for the league champions with his second league goal of the season. Gombe United star AbdulAzeez Yusuf equalised from the penalty spot with his 10th goal of the season.
Kwara United salvaged a draw late in the day when they took on Wikki Tourist at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi. Abubakar Aliyu opened the scoring for the home side in the 13th minute before AbdulSalam AbdulSalam equalised for the Afonja Warriors in the 80th minute.
Abia Warriors were held to a 1-1 draw by Niger Tornadoes at home in their NPFL Matchday 23 encounter. Paul Samson opened the scoring for the Umuahia Landlords with a left-footed strike late in the first half before Munir Idris drew his side level in the second half.
Nasarawa United held Remo Stars to a 1-1 draw in their NPFL Matchday 23 encounter in Jos. Andy Okpe scored his 9th goal of the season to give the Sky Blue Stars the lead before former Youth international King Osanga equalised for the Solid Miners shortly after.
Rangers fell 10 points behind second-place Plateau United after they were held to a goalless draw at home by a resilient Sunshine Stars side.
Dakkada added to Heartland’s misery by defeating them 2-1 in their NPFL Matchday 23 clash in Uyo. Israel Emmanuel gave the Chosen Ones the lead before Aniekan Ekpe added a second from the penalty spot in the second half. Monday Yakubu scored a consolation for Heartland after the hour mark.
Kano Pillars were back to their traditional home at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano for the first time in two years, and they hosted neighbours Katsina United in their NPFL Matchday 23 clash. With the match tied at 0-0 on 79 minutes, violence erupted as the home fans began to hurl projectiles onto the pitch, forcing the referee to bring the match to an end. The fans went on to destroy Katsina United’s team bus, as well. The League Management Committee has come down strongly on Kano Pillars, who have been banished from Kano and will play their remaining home games at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja, starting from the remainder of the match against Katsina United.