NPFL: Enyimba Denies Kano Pillars Top Spot with Draw  

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*Rivers Utd overpowers Niger Tornadoes
 
By Duro Ikhazuagbe
Kano Pillars missed the chance to move to the top of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) yesterday after the Sai Masugida managed a 1-1 draw with rival Enyimba FC.
Top striker, Junior Lokosa, scored his eighth goal of the new season in the 36th minutes to throw the home fans at the Sani Abacha Stadium into delirious celebration.
However, an own goal by former Enyimba defender, Emmanuel Anyanwu, drew the Aba club level in the 40th minutes.
With this result, Pillars are now tied on same 16 points as league leaders, Akwa United, but are second on inferior goal difference of +6 as against Akwa’s +10. Champion Plateau United with a game at hand is third on 15 points.
Elsewhere in Port Harcourt yesterday, Osita Chikere and Emeka Ogbugh struck in the first half as Rivers United defeated Niger Tornadoes 2-0 in a keenly-fought Match-day 9 clash.
Chiekere headed home an expertly-delivered Bernard Ovoke corner on 17th minutes to give the ‘Pride of Rivers’ a deserved lead at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium.
 
Ogbugh, making his season’s debut after helping Nigeria to a second-placed finish at the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco, curled home an exquisite free kick just before the half hour to give the Port Harcourt club a commanding lead going into the break.
 
The Rivers United Technical Manager, Stanley Eguma, made five changes to the side that lost 0-1 to Yobe Desert Stars on Match-day 8 and the end product was satisfactory.
Other big winners of the day include; Katsina United and Abia Warriors.
Katsina United recorded their 20th home win in the NPFL after they defeated visiting FC Ifeanyiubah 3-0. Eric Dufegha, Tasiu Lawal and Destiny Ashadi contributed the goals to seal three points for the hosts.
Katsina United however move to the fifth spot in the standings on 13 points from nine games.
In Umuahia, Abia Warriors improved on their lowly placing on the table after a 3-1 win over visiting Yobe Desert Stars. Ndifreke Effiong scored twice for the home team.
Kwara United staged a remarkable comeback in Lafia to hold Nasarawa United to a thrilling 3-3 draw with striker Michael Ohanu grabbing the all-important equaliser in stoppage time for the Ilorin club
El Kanemi stopped Go Round 2-1 in Maiduguri, while Heartland turned back Wikki Tourists 2-1 in Owerri.
MATCH DAY 9
Kano Pillars    1-1    Enyimba
El Kanemi  2-1    Go Round
Abia Warriors    3-1    Yobe Stars
Rivers Utd    2-0    Tornadoes
Nasarawa   3-3    Kwara Utd
Katsina Utd    3-0  Ifeanyi Ubah
Heartland  2-1  Wikki