NPFL: Bendel Insurance Maintain Unbeaten Run Against Kwara Utd
*As Akwa Utd, Lobi Stars win away from their home grounds
The wind of change blowing through the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) continued at the weekend with three teams recording wins away from their home grounds with two others pulling crucial draws away too.
So far eight away victories have been recorded in 28 matches since the Gbenga Elegbeleye led Interim Management Committee (IMC) took charge of the Nigerian topflight. It is a departure from the dubious ‘norm’ where teams must win by hook or crook in previous arrangements.
After three match days, Bendel Insurance of Benin City are the only team in the NPFL to record 100 per cent to the start of the abridged league.
In a Group A fixtures yesterday, newly promoted Bendel Insurance proved again that they mean business since their return, becoming the first team to win all their first three matches. After defeating Akwa United in the opening weekend in Uyo, they returned home to also win their first home game in Benin City against Plateau United before going to Ibadan yesterday to pick maximum points against Kwara United in their adopted home.
Both Remo Stars (Group A) and Niger Tornadoes (Group B) who also have maximum points each have a game in hand to be played midweek.
Kwara United playing at their adopted home ground at Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan lost to Insurance after two scoreless outings on Match day one and two.
Expectedly, Imade Osehenkhoe scored the lone goal that gave Insurance the victory in the 25th minute.
In the other group matches, former Champion, Akwa United returned to winning away with an emphatic 3-0 away win at Nasarawa United.
James Ajako opened score in the 43rd minute while Ndifreke Effiong Udo doubled the lead two minutes after resumption with a grounder and same player extended the lead to in the 74th minute.
Former champion, Plateau won 2-1 at home against Enyimba with goals from Onyebuchi Ifeanyi and Kazeem Ogunleye in the 36th and added time but goals came are after Chibuike Nwaiwu had given the away team in the lead in the 25th minute.
El-Kanemi at home recorded a goalless draw with Gombe United.
In Group B, Lobi Stars truncated Abia Warriors’ winning streak win with an away win in Aba.
The lone goal was scored by Kumaga Suur in the 55th minute while Enugu Rangers and Sunshine Stars of Akure played out a 1-1 draw in Awka which is Rangers’ first point out of possible nine.
Bayelsa United also recored 2-0 win against visiting Wikki Tourist with goals from Robert Mizo in the 42nd and 70th minutes but John Prince cut the lead in the 89th minute from penalty kick.
Doma United recorded a lone goal win against Dakkada FC with the only goal scored by Emmanuel Ogwuche in the 59th minute.
Nasarawa 0-3 Akwa Utd
Plateau Utd 2-1 Enyimba
Kwara Utd 0-1 B’Insurance
El-Kanemi 0-0 Gombe Utd
Remo v Shooting
Rangers 1-1 Sunshine
Abia War 0-1 Lobi Stars
Bayelsa Utd 2-1 Wikki
Doma Utd 1-0 Dakkada
Rivers Utd v N’Tornadoes