…As Lobi Stars beat Dakkada 1-0 to banish relegation troubles
Former Nigerian champions, Kano Pillars got at least a temporary reprieve from recent problems as they laboured to a slim 1-0 win over Rangers in the NPFL week 35 match played yesterday at the Sani Abacha Stadium.
Legendary captain, Rabiu Ali’s goal from the spot in the 51st minute was enough to hand the ‘Masu gida’ boys the crucial victory over Rangers whose hope of continental football is fast fading.
With three matches to go, Pillars have moved away from the drop zone to 13th position with 45 points same as Katsina United who defeated Remo Stars 3-2 at the death in Katsina to keep hope alive.
At the Aper Aku stadium, Godfrey Utim assisted Chinoso Okonkwo to score in the 11th minute as Lobi Stars defeated hard-fighting Dakkada FC 1-0 to drastically reduce their relegation worries.
After a torrid time fighting to survive, Lobi Stars can now heave a sigh of relief as they are now 12th on the table with 46 points.
Elsewhere, Nasarawa United left it late to beat champions-elect, Rivers United 2-1 in a gruelling contest at the New Jos stadium.
Sunday Okereke put Nasarawa United in front as early as the 5th minute after he connected Chinedu Ohanachom’s pass but substitute Sikiru Olatunbosun equalised for Rivers United in the 80th minute before Tochukwu Michael’s goal in the first minute of second half added time won it for the ‘Solid Miners’.
In Aba, relegation-troubled Heartland forced Enyimba to a 0-0 draw just as Abia Warriors forced 3SC to a 2-2 draw at the Lekan Salami stadium in Ibadan.
At the Pantami stadium, two fist half goals ensured Gombe United topped Wikki Tourists 2-1. Ibrahim Yahaya put the ‘Savannah Scorpions’ ahead in the 35th minute, Victor Okoro drew Wikki level in the 38th minute but Ahmed Jimoh sealed victory for the home side in the 65th minute to settle the North-east derby.
In Akure, Sunshine Stars showed no mercy as they heaped more misery on relegation bound MFM with 2-1 victory.
Azeez Ajagbe put the ‘Akure Gunners’ in front as early as the 11th minute, Ike Brandon doubled the lead in the 60th minute before David Nduka scored MFM’s consolatory goal in the 75th minute.
Meanwhile, the two week 35 matches played on Saturday ended in favour of Akwa United and Tornadoes who beat Plateau United and Kwara United 2-1 and 4-0 respectively.