The 2018 NPFL season got off to a breathtaking start this weekend with the 20 teams involved enjoying diverse fortunes — while defending champions, Plateau United claimed a morale-boosting win over Nasarawa United in Lafia, the same would not be said of their closest challengers, MFM who fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Abia Warriors with Niger Tornadoes equally bagging themselves maximum points against League newcomers, Kwara United in Ilorin. Naijafootballplus rounds up the Match day one results thus,
The new league season curtain raiser on Saturday saw a four-goal thriller at the Muhammadu Dikko stadium, with the Sai Masu Gida pegged back twice by goals from Ajana Chukwunjekwu and Destiny Ashadi after Junior Lakosa and Alhassan Ibrahim had each given the Ibrahim Musa led side the lead.
Elsewhere, Guy Kuemian’s solitary effort proved decisive as Rivers United came out top against El-kanemi Warriors with Stanley Eguma’s men who finished 15th last season starting off on a satisfactory note.
It was a case of no victor no vanquished between Heartland and Sunshine Stars in Owerri with both sides cancelling each other out in a drab stalemate. The newly-promoted Naze millionaires who finished the 2008 edition a point shy of winners Kano Pillars would be hoping to enjoy a successful season this time.
At the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi, seven-time champions, Enyimba were held to a 1-1 draw by Lobi Stars who grabbed a point from the encounter from the spot through Ezekiel Mba after Chinedu Udeagha’s
effort had earlier had the Pride of Benue trailing.
At the Abubarkar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, Wikki Tourists pipped their debuting opponents, Go Round FC 1-0 with Nafiu Kabuga scoring the all important goal to ensure the win while the Omuku Bubbles would have to wait longer for their first topflight points and goals.
2016 Federation Cup champions, Ifeanyi Ubah dispatched Yobe Desert Stars 2-1 in Nnewi to open their season on a positive note, Godwin Obaje and Shola Adegboye the scorers for the Anambra Warriors while
Chinedu Ohanachom got in among the goals for the Desert Stars, their first in the division since 2002.
NNL 2017 winners, Kwara United got off the worst possible start in their topflight adventure, falling to a 2-0 win at home to Niger Tornadoes with Eric Frimpong and Ibrahim Babawo consigning them to defeat.
Raphael Ayagwa’s effort three minutes from time was enough to separate Plateau United and Nasarawa United at the Lafia Township Stadium as the 2017 champions enjoyed a winning start to action while the Solid Miners who finished 5th last season who hope their fortunes are improved from here on.
And finally, the pick of the results was MFM’s 2-0 loss to Abia Warriors at the Umuahia Township Stadium with Ndifreke Effiong’s brace leaving the Olukoya Boys counting the costs and needing pretty much to do.
Matchday one results in full
Katsina United 2-2 Kano Pillars
RiversUnited 1-0 El Kanemi Warriors
Heartland 0-0 Sunshine Stars
Lobi Stars 1-1 Enyimba
Wikki Tourists 1-0 Go Round FC
FC IfeanyiUbah 2-1 Yobe Desert Stars
Kwara United 0-2 Niger Tornadoes
Nasarawa United 0-1 Plateau United
Abia Warriors 2-0 MFM