Thursday, March 30, 2023

NPFL: Insurance, Plateau United earn rare away wins; Sunshine keep unwanted away record

In Matchday 5 of the NPFL, seven home victories, two away wins, and one draw that produced 17 goals were recorded.

• February 1, 2023
Bendel Insurance and El Kanemi Warriors
Bendel Insurance and El Kanemi Warriors

Actions resumed in the Matchday 5 of the ongoing Nigeria Premier Football League(NPFL) on Wednesday with Bendel Insurance and Plateau United picking up valuable away victories. Remo Stars returned to winning ways as Wikki Tourists and Nasarawa United failed to impress.

In all the ten fixtures that were played on Wednesday, seven home victories, two away wins, and one draw that produced 17 goals were recorded across various locations in the country. 

In Group A, Bendel Insurance’s per cent start in the campaign continued with a 1-0 away victory over El-Kanemi Warriors at the Maiduguri Stadium, Borno State. 

Insurance took the lead through Deputy Echeta in the 29th minute of the encounter before play was temporarily suspended by the centre referee ten minutes later for crowd disturbance. Home fans threw dangerous objects on the pitch.

However, the play would soon continue without further hindrance as the rest of the game ended without any other goal, with the first half goal being enough to keep the Benin Arsenal on top of the NPFL standings with the maximum 15 points.

The victory was also Insurance’s third away victory in the league thus far.

Also in the same group, Remo Stars beat eight-time champions Enyimba by a lone goal at the Remo Stars Stadium to return to winning ways following the 3-0 defeat at the hands of Bendel Insurance in their last game.

Samuel Anakwe scored the fastest goal in the league thus far when he found the net seventeen seconds into the game. It proved to be the only goal to secure an important home victory for the Sky Blue Stars. The Ikenne-based club remained second in Group A with 12 points from possible fifteen.

Meanwhile, the result condemned Enyimba to their second defeat in the new season but retained its third place in the standings with seven points tied on the same points with Akwa United and Plateau United.

In Group B, Champions Rivers United handed Wikki Tourist their fourth defeat out of five matches to further compound Giant Elephant’s woes, who are currently bottom of the group with just a point.

Chidiebube Duru’s brace with the goals coming in each half of the game was enough to earn the three points for Rivers United at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, extending their season’s tally to 13 points as The Pride of Rivers sit top of the group.

At the New Jos Stadium, Lobi Stars left it late to steal a last-gasp victory over 10-man Sunshine Stars in a keenly contested game.

The encounter was quite uneventful from the start until the 87th minute when Ogbuagu Emmanuel was sent off for using his hand to deny a clear goal-scoring opportunity, resulting in a penalty being awarded against the Owena Whales. 

Joseph Atule made no mistake in converting from the spot to score a late winner for Benue state-owned club to record their fourth consecutive victory in the campaign as they occupy the second position in Group B.

Sunshine Stars have now failed to win any of their last 21 league matches.

Full NPFL Matchday 5 results below;

Nasarawa United 1-2 Plateau United 

Remo Stars 1-0 Enyimba FC 

Kwara United 2-1 Akwa United 

El-Kanemi Warriors 0-1 Insurance 

Gombe United 2-1 Shooting Stars 

Abia Warriors 1-0 Niger Tornadoes 

Bayelsa United 1-1 Doma United 

Rivers United 2-0 Wikki Tourists 

Ranger Int’l 1-0 Dakkada FC 

Lobi Stars 1-0 Sunshine Stars 

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