Kano Pillars recorded the biggest win of the Nigeria Professional Football League season yesterday when they thumped visiting Shooting Stars 6-0.
However, Enugu Rangers who defeated Nasarawa United 2-1 earlier on Friday has overtaken FC IfeanyiUbah at the top of the log on 24 points from 12 matches while Abia United is second on 23 points from same 12 games. IfeanyiUbah who lost 0-3 to Wikki yesterday is third on 22 points from 13 matches while Pillars with 21 points from 12 matches is fourth.
Emmanuel Edmund grabbed a hat-trick with Ifeanyi Matthew, Adamu Mohammed and Nafiu Ibrahim also getting on the scoreboard.
Ifeanyi Matthew opened scoring for Pillars with a low drive after 11 minutes, before Edmund doubled the lead in the 37th minute.
Edmund grabbed his brace in the 58th minute and completed his hat-trick in the 82nd minute, before late strikes by Adamu Mohammed and Nafiu Ibrahim.
The heavy defeat has clearly showed up the sharp divisions of Shooting Stars, whose players have not been paid for the past five months.
Elsewhere yesterday, Plateau United struck late to deny Rivers United a share of the spoils in an action-filled NPFL game decided in Jos.
Plateau won 2-1 with the winner arriving on the stroke of full time.
The hosts took the lead at the Rwang Pam Stadium in the 14th minute through Benjamin Turba following a long throw in from the right.
They could have easily added to their tally in the first half but were denied by impressive defending the visitors until the referee brought the first half to a close.
Rivers United looked a better side after the restart and duly got their reward through Chukwunonso Okonkwo who equalised with a looping header in the 80th minute.
It was his fourth goal in as many matches and gave the visitors renewed belief as they began playing with vigour and poise, while pressing for a late winner.
There was to be late drama in the end as the Rivers United goal keeper, Sunday Rotimi inadvertently diverted yet another long throw into his own net in the 90th minute.
Plateau United Head Coach, Zachary Baraje, was pleased with the win but insists he needs a ‘turning point’ in the form of an away win in the coming days.
“I am praying I get the opportunity to reinforce the team with some mature players.
“If that is done, I do not see this team facing relegation.
“Right now, I need a turning point by getting some points away from home,” Baraje told reporters after the game.
The Rivers United Technical Manager, Stanley Eguma, said his team will now train their sights on their next league game against Enugu Rangers in Port Harcourt on May 1.
“We should have gotten a point or even all three today but we lost it (at the death).
“We must put that behind us now and look ahead to the next game,” he said.
Plateau United move up to 12th on the league standings with 17 points from 13 matches while Rivers United dropped two places on the log to 7th with 19 points from 13 matches.
MATCH DAY 13
Rangers 2-1 Nasarawa
El-Kanemi 1-0 Ikorodu Utd
Kano Pillars 6-0 Shooting
Wikki 3-0 IfeanyiUbah
Plateau Utd 2-1 Rivers Utd
Heartland 1-0 Sunshine
Warri Wolves 2-0 Giwa
Abia Warriors 3-1 MFM
Lobi 1-0 Tornadoes