NPFL : Insurance still Unbeaten, Lobi Go Top of Group
By Diegwu Nwankwor for the IMC Media
Bendel Insurance maintained its unbeaten start to the season after a 2-2 draw away to Shooting Stars at Adamasingba Stadium, Ibadan.
Insurance took the lead within seconds of the kick-off through Imade Osehenkhoe and doubled its lead in the 37th minute through Ismael Seriki.
But Shooting fought back, first through Ayodeji Malomo just before halftime in the 43rd minute while Opeoluwa Olufemi got equalizer in the 69th minute.
The result means that Bendel Insurance is still unbeaten after 7 matches and is top of group A with 17 points, five points clear of Enyimba that on Saturday defeated Gombe United 2-1 in Gombe.
Meanwhile, Remo Stars missed the chance to go second after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Plateau United. Oluwasegun Olalere gave Remo the lead in the 37th minute but Plateau equalized just after halftime in the 49th minute through Ibrahim Mustapha.
Finally in Group A, Akwa United missed the chance of entering the championship playoff places after being held to 1-1 draw by El Kanemi Warriors. Akwa United got the lead through Cyril Olisema in the 30th minute but a late goal by Junior Agnaza (87th minute) rescued a point for El Kanemi who are still out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
Lobi Stars have moved to the top of Group B after brushing aside Dakkada 2-1 at the Aper Akum Stadium, Makurdi.
Lobi were off to a quick start with Joseph Atule scoring in the 9th minute of play and Atule would have doubled the lead in the 21st minute but missed a penalty. However, Kumaga Suur doubled the lead early in the second half (47th minute) before Dakkarda pulled one back in the 53rd minute through Emmanuel Ayaosi to set up a tense final 30 minutes. However, Lobi held on to win the match.
In Umuahia, Abia Warriors were held to a 1-1 draw by Wikki Tourists. John Peter gave the Warriors the lead in the 30th minute but an 87th-minute equalizer from Abdulsalam Abdulsalam rescued a point for Wikki who are still in the relegation places in 9th. Abia Warriors are now 2nd on the table with 13 points.
At Akure, Sunshine Stars revived its championship playoff hopes after a 2-0 win over Niger Tornadoes thanks to 1st half goals from Udom Ekrette (12th minute) and Samson Olasupo (30th minute). The win takes Sunshine to 4th on the table with 12 points, one behind Rivers United, third on the table.
Finally in Awka, Rangers International earned its 2nd win of the season after a narrow 1-0 win over newly promoted Doma United. The all-important goal was scored by Chidera Ezeh in the 38th minute when he converted a penalty. The win moves Rangers to 7th on the log with 8 points, three points off the relegation spots.
#NPFL23 Matchday 7 results:
Gombe United 1-2 Enyimba
Nasarawa Utd 2-0 Kwara Utd
Remo Stars 1-1 Plateau United
El Kanemi Warriors 1-1 Akwa United
Shooting Stars 2-2 Bendel Insurance
Abia Warriors 1-1 Wikki Tourists
Enugu Rangers 1-0 Doma United
Lobi Stars 2-1 Dakkada FC
Sunshine Stars 2-0 Niger Tornadoes
Bayelsa Utd v Rivers Utd – 4 pm