Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) new boys, Sporting Lagos, jumped into the driving seat after Matchday 2 of this season taking a point at Akwa United in a 0-0 draw at the Nest of Champions on Sunday.
After coming off a Matchday 1 win over Gombe United, the newcomers still had the odds against them ahead of their first-ever trip to the South-south city of Uyo. At the end of 90 minutes, the Lagos club pulled off a result that earned them not just an unbeaten start to the season but also a clean sheet in their opening two matches and position at the top of the pile.
The story was however different for all of the Oriental clubs from the Southeast as they all suffered defeats on the road over the weekend. Title-holders Enyimba began their defence on a losing note at Gombe United were they lost 0-2 to goals from Chijioke Alaekwe and Ahmed Jimoh.
The other Southeast clubs, Abia Warriors, Rangers and Heartland lost away to Kwara United, Remo Stars and Plateau United respectively albeit by one-goal margins. Ejeh Isaiah’s goal before halftime sealed a 1-0 for Kwara United over Abia Warriors while Bernard Mundi’s superb goal in the first half was enough to help Plateau United see off Heartland.
Rangers dropped all points at the Remo Stadium in Ikenne after their early lead through Kazeem Ogunleye was wiped out by goals from Remo Stars pair of Seun Ogunribide and Sikiru Alimi.
Nigeria’s only remaining club on the continent, Rivers United were edged by a goal in Kaduna by Niger Tornadoes who needed a seventh-minute goal from the spot by Bashir Usman to claim the full points.
Lobi Stars moved into the second place on the standings after winning 3-2 against Sunshine Stars in a dramatic second half that witnessed all five goals. Samuel Tiza netted twice for Lobi in the space of 16 minutes before Taiwo Rafiu scored for Sunshine Stars on 78 minutes. Substitute Ajibola Adeleke restored Lobi’s two-goal lead late on and in added time Michael Olalusi reduced the Benue side’s lead.
On Saturday, Doma United, Kano Pillars and Federation Cup holders Bendel Insurance earned full points. Andrew Majalisa and Charles Terwar scored for Doma United in their 2-0 win over Bayelsa United while Bendel Insurance defeated 3SC 2-0 through Evans Ogbonda’s goal and an own goal by Gali Falke.
Ibrahim Mustapha Yuga scored the winning goal in Kano Pillars’ 1-0 triumph over Katsina United in the Northwest derby at the Sani Abach Stadium.
MATCHDAY 2 RESULTS & GOALSCORERS
Saturday, October 7, 2023
Doma Utd 2-0 Bayelsa Utd #DOMBAY #NPFL24
Andrew Majalisa 21’, Charles Terwar 57’
Bendel Insurance 2-0 3SC #BENSHO #NPFL24
Gali Falke 8’ (OG), Evans Ogbonda 79’
Kano Pillars 1-0 Katsina Utd #PILKAT #NPFL24
Ibrahim Mustapha 27’
Sunday, October 8, 2023
Gombe Utd 2-0 Enyimba #GOMENY #NPFL24
Chijioke Alaekwe 43’, Ahmed Jimoh 90’
Lobi 3-2 Sunshine Stars #LOBSUN #NPFL24
Samuel Tiza 53’, 69’, Ajibola Adeleke 85’ – Taiwo Rafiu 78’, Michael Olalusi 90’
Kwara Utd 1-0 Abia Warriors #KWAABI #NPFL24
Ejeh Isaiah 45’
Tornadoes 1-0 Rivers Utd #TORRIV #NPFL24
Bashir Usman 7’ (PEN)
Remo Stars 2-1 Rangers #REMRAN #NPFL24
Seun Ogunribide 35’, Sikiru Alimi 53’ – Kazeem Ogunleye 8’
Akwa Utd 0-0 Sporting Lagos #AKWSPL #NPFL24
Plateau Utd 1-0 Heartland #PLAHEA #NPFL24
Bernard Mundi 12’