- Heartland holds champions Enyimba
Olawale Ajimotokan with agency report
Enugu Rangers consolidated their hold at the summit of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) wednesday after Giwa FC refused to turn up in Abuja for the continuation of the abandoned Match-day 12 in Jos last week.
With three points and three goals, the Flying Antelopes now have 27 points from 23 matches, four points clear of closest rivals Abia Warriors.
Wednesday, Rangers FC and match officials assigned for the game at the FIFA Goal Project in Abuja Giwa waited in vain as the Jos-based team failed to show up.
The original match between the two clubs was abandoned after irate fans disrupted it in Jos.
Rangers were leading the tie 1-0 before the game was abandoned in the 74th minute.
The game was to have been continued from the 74th minute yesterday.
Giwa has already been heavily fined for the crowd trouble at the first game.
Elsewhere wednesday, champions Enyimba drew 1-1 with Heartland in Umuahia in another rescheduled NPFL game to blow the chance of swimming out of the relegation zone.
The People’s Elephant began the day in 19th place on the 20-team table but a battling display in a cracking contest saw the Naze Millionaires claim a share of the spoils.
Heartland asked the early attacking questions with Julius Ubido and Nnaemeka Anyanwu coming close inside the opening 10 minutes.
Enyimba’s first chance arrived in the seventh minute with Nzube Anaezemba’s strike from inside the box flying wide following good work from Christian Pyagbara.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure and Ifeanyi George fired a goal-bound effort from range which the Heartland goalkeeper, Phillip Acho, was happy to parry away for a corner.
Enyimba eventually got the breakthrough in the 27th minute through Peter Onyekachi after the Heartland goalkeeper’s howler.
Onyeakachi proceeded to dribble past two Heartland defenders before smacking home from close range.
Stunned into action, the Naze Millionaires stormed forward and equalised through Ifeanyi Onuigbo who created space on the far side to head home a cross.
Onuigbo had overcome the setback of received a booking seconds earlier for simulation after going down in the Enyimba box.
Mfon Udoh was thrown into the fray to add urgency to the Enyimba attack but the visitors defended resolutely to claim a point.
Enyimba thus remain in 19th place on the NPFL standings with 13 points from nine matches.
In Akure, Sunshine Stars beat Nasarawa United 3-0 to continue their impressive run under new coach Solomon Ogbeide.
Okiki Afolabi converted a 34th-minute penalty to put the Owena Waves in front before Samad Kadiri made in 2-0 in the 51st minute.
Afolabi completed his brace in the 59th minute to complete a comprehensive win for the hosts.
Rangers w/o Giwa
Enyimba 1-1 Heartland
Sunshine 3-0 Nasarawa