By Fred Edoreh
Rangers attacking rave of the moment, Israel Abia, has insisted that his target in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) is to surpass Mfon Udoh’s all-time top scorer record of 23 goals.
Abia believes he can achieve it in open play and fair officiating being enjoyed in the NPFL.
Abia who was leading the chart with 12 goals before the 2019/2020 season was suspended due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last March, warned teams not to count on any home advantage to win games because it no longer exists in the competition.
The stocky forward spoke to NPFL.comafter Rangers’ 1-1 draw away to MFM in their Match Day 5 encounter in Lagos on Sunday in which he came in the second half to keep the pressure on the hosts.
“Last year was tough for everyone because we had to stop play in view of the pandemic. This season, I believe will be a better one. Every team in the NPFL is a good team and there is no home, no away. Any team can win or pick a point away like we did away to Kaduna and as we have just done here against MFM in Lagos.”
On his goals target, Abia declared: “The Nigerian league has improved and this season is coming on well. Like I said there is no home and away, so I believe I can always come out tops. I am not promising any number but as long as I break Mfon Udoh’s record I am fine.”
Mfon Udoh set a new record of 23 goals in the 2013/2014 season and 39 goals in two successive seasons to overtake Emem Eduok’s 22, Jude Aneke’s 20 and Super Eagles Captain Ahmed Musa’s 18.
The performance earned him the 2014 NPFL Golden Boot, the NPFL Player of the Year and League Bloggers Player of the Year awards.
He also emerged the top scorer in the 2016 CAF Champions League with nine goals, featuring for Enyimba FC of Aba which unfortunately did not make it past the group stage.
NPFL: Akwa Utd, Wikki Share Points in Uyo
Wikki Tourists’ Chinedu Udeagha’s 40th minute goal denied Akwa United maximum points that would have lifted them to Sixth on the NPFL standing yesterday evening.
Fifteen minutes earlier, Ndifreke Effiong had taken advantage of the poor clearance by Wikki Tourists’ Stanley Nwabali to put the hosts ahead.
Akwa Utd 1-1 Wikki
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Rwanda 0-0 Uganda
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Nigeria 2-3 I’Coast
Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle