Home Football NPFL: Sporting Lagos Back to winning ways, Rangers thrash Kano Pillars
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NPFL: Sporting Lagos Back to winning ways, Rangers thrash Kano Pillars

Rangers close up on NPFL title race as they beat Heartland in Oriental derby

Emex Henshaw

The Matchday five of the Nigeria Premier Football League returned with loads of excitement, with goals scored across all centers, except the game in Benin.

The goals were plentiful on Matchday 5, with a total of twenty-three goals scored across nine match centers. The game between Remo Stars and Enyimba was postponed due to the involvement of the People’s Elephant in the Africa Football League. Akwa United secured an away point in Matchday 5, holding Bendel Insurance to a goalless draw, but it wasn’t enough to lift the former league champions off the bottom of the table.

Sunday witnessed the most action in the league and goals. Fidelis Illechukwu’s side continued their impressive start to the season, demolishing Kano Pillars, led by former coach Abdul Maikaba, with a 4-1 victory in Awka. Goals from Isaac Saviour, skipper Chukwudi Nwaodu, and a brace from Godwin Obaje were enough to cancel out an early opener from Muhammad Yakubu. This win marked Rangers’ third victory of the season, propelling the Flying Antelopes to the top of the standings with ten points out of a possible 15.

Shooting Stars of Ibadan came from a goal down to defeat Doma United 3-1 in Ibadan. Goals from Gbolagade Adelowo, Kareem Ayinde, and Gideon Monday secured the victory, putting the Oluyole Warriors level on points with Rangers but second on the table due to goal difference.

Katsina witnessed the most goals of the Matchday, with five goals scored. Katsina United held off an inspired Sunshine Stars, with a brace by Michael Olulasi for Sunshine Stars canceled out by a brace from Bello Lukman and a goal on the stroke of halftime by Michael Okoro.

Robert Mizo of Bayelsa United returned to scoring form, helping Bayelsa United secure a 2-1 victory over Kwara United at the Samson Siassa stadium, ending their consecutive home points drought.

Sporting Lagos ended their three-game winless streak with a victory over Niger Tornadoes in Onikan under the floodlights. Junior Lokosa opened his account for the Noisy Lagosians, scoring the second goal to put the Lagos-based side two goals ahead. Jonathan Alukwu opened the scoring for Sporting, while Yahuza Bala scored for Niger Tornadoes, setting up a nervy ending.

Rivers United ended Lobi Stars’ unbeaten run with a lone goal victory at the Adokiye Aimesemakha stadium. Alex Oyowah’s first-half strike was enough to secure maximum points for the Pride of Rivers.

Gombe United maintained their 100 percent home record with a hard-fought victory over Plateau United. Sadiq Shuaibu scored from a penalty in the added minutes of play after Plateau United held their own for the duration of the game.

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