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NPFL Match Day 10 measured up in similar fashion as the preceding match days with goals, spectacular strikes, come-backs, relief for some under-pressure managers and an away win that preserved a nine-match unbeaten run.
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The most anticipated encounter was Rangers’ clash with new boys MFM FC in Lagos. This was the fourth in a series of tough tests for the newcomers and three points from a possible nine against Heartland, Kano Pillars and Plateau United had seen them drop off the leading pack.
Against table-topping Enugu Rangers, they knew they needed a good result but were shell-shocked when Obinna Nwobodo’s brilliant strike gave Rangers a first half lead. They rallied in the second period but could only make do with Stephen Odey’s 68th minute strike which restored parity.
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Lokoja witnessed a four-goal thriller as Niger Tornadoes and Sunshine Stars battled to a 2-2 draw. Ismaila Gata put Tornadoes ahead before two goals by Okiki Afolabi and Dele Olorundare put the visitors in front. Tasiu Lawal would however ensure a share of the spoils after the Owena Waves conceded their second penalty of the day.
Wikki’s Peter Ambrose saw red but his team held on to play out a 1-1 draw with Lobi Stars in Makurdi. Godwin Obaje and Nanen Imenger scoring for Wikki and Lobi respectively three minutes apart.
Abia Warriors retained their unbeaten tag coming from behind to stun Akwa United before their home fans. Kufre Ebong had put the Promise Keepers in front before local boy Ndifreke Effiong scored one and assisted the other to complete a remarkable turnaround. The second half witnessed no goals inflicting a first home defeat in the league for the Uyo-based side.
In Ibadan, Shooting Stars showed no mercy on newcomers Ikorodu United as they inflicted a 2-0 defeat on Lagos boys; their sixth straight defeat in succession.
Pillars’ left Jos empty-handed as Giwa FC became the second team to beat them this term. David Sunday got the opener after 22 minutes before a Pillar’s own goal by Jonathan Zikiye in the closing stages sealed the fate of the Masu Gida.
In Port Harcourt, Stanley Eguma’s Rivers United made it two league wins in a row when Chinonso Okonkwo’s second goal of the season in as many games ensured the maximum points against a battling El-Kanemi Warriors side.
FC Ifeanyiubah’s foreign imports came in handy yet again as they survived a second half onslaught by Plateau United. Paschal Seka had put the hosts ahead from the spot before a second half siege by the visitors nearly paid off but Cameroonian Tamen Mendrano came off the bench to ensure the victory on the stroke of 90 minutes.
Shooting Stars 2-0 Ikorodu Utd
Rivers Utd 1-0 El-Kanemi
Giwa FC 2-0 Kano Pillars
FC Ifeanyiubah 2-0 Plateau Utd
MFM 1-1 Rangers
Lobi 1-1 Wikki
Akwa Utd 1-2 Abia Warriors
Tornadoes 2-2 Sunshine Stars
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