NPFL: Insurance, Lobi setting the Pace for Playoffs at Mid-season

By Diegwu Nwankwor for, IMC Media
Bendel Insurance on Sunday extended its lead at the top of Group A to nine points after edging 2nd placed Enyimba 1-0 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.

The MatchDay 9 star fixture was keenly contested but failed to produce clear-cut chances at goal.
But the all-important goal was scored by Imade Osehenkhoe who took his tally to six and Insurance still unbeaten this season.
Akwa United still staked a claim for a place in the championship playoff spots after earning a valuable 2-2 draw away to Shooting Stars in Ibadan.
All four goals were scored in the first half with Shooting taking an early lead through Joshua Akpan in the 14th minute. The Promise Keepers responded with two quick goals from Uche Collins (21st minute) and Liman Ahmadu (25th minute).
Shooting would equalize on the stroke of halftime with veteran striker Ibrahim Ajani getting the goal. The draw means that Plateau United could get into the championship playoff spots if it can avoid defeat away to Gombe United on Monday.
Group B leaders, Lobi Stars are now four points clear of second placed Sunshine Stars after brushing side newly promoted Doma United 2-0 at the Aper Akum Stadium Makurdi. Two first-half goals from Joseph Atule (6th minute) and Umar Abba (9th minute) were enough to seal all three points for Lobi.
Sunshine Stars follows on second spot after a narrow 1-0 win over Wikki Tourists at the Akure Township Stadium. Samson Olasupo scored the all-important winner in the 57th minute. The defeat saw Wikki’s 3-match unbeaten run snapped to an end.
Niger Tornadoes are up to fifth on the table and two points off the championship playoff places after edging Dakkada 1-0 thanks to a late first half goal (44th minute) by David Okoromi. Dakkada have now lost four straight away matches.
Finally in Group B, Bayelsa United and Enugu Rangers played out a 1-1 draw in Yenegoa. Rangers took the lead in the 6th minute through Godwin Obaje but Robert Mizo equalized in the 41st minute for Bayelsa who move out of the relegation places thanks to the draw.
Group A
Bendel Insurance 1-0 Enyimba
Shooting Stars 2-2 Akwa United
Group B
Lobi Stars 2-0 Doma United
Sunshine Stars 1-0 Wikki Tourists
Bayelsa United 1-1 Rangers
Niger Tornadoes 1-0 Dakkarda
Monday Fixtures 
Gombe United v Plateau Plateau United
Nasarawa United v Remo Stars
El Kanemi Warriors v Kwara United
Abia Warriors v Rivers United
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