NPFL: Jigawa Stuns Pillars, Plateau Tames The Wolves
Jigawa Golden Stars claimed a stunning 1-0 victory against the title-chasing Kano Pillars, widening the gap between the Pillars and front runners Akwa United, while Plateau United tamed a resilient Warri Wolves side winning 2-0 under heavy rainfall in Jos on match day 28 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
In a fixture that meant different value for either side, it was Jigawa Golden Stars FC that produced an upset on Sunday in a 1-0 defeat of local rivals Kano Pillars FC at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna.
The match was vital to both sides, as the Sai Masu Gida aimed at doing the double against their local rivals, and increasing its chances of winning the league at the same time. The three home points are equally key for Jigawa who are battling to climb to mid table and escape relegation.
Pillars expectedly dominated the game from the beginning but towards the end, it was the Badaru Boys that scored a goal created from nothing and against the run of play. Substitute Ali Kalla took a shot that flew into the left corner of goal, leaving the Kano Pillars goalkeeper Suraj Ayeleso well beaten and stunned.
The Sai Masu Gida have themselves to blame after creating many chances that were not converted. Speaking after the game, Pillars head Coach, Ibrahim Musa said they were undone by poor finishing noting that for the last few matches that remained the team’s biggest challenge.
“We played well but did not convert our chances just as we did against Akwa United and even Enyimba. We have no one to blame but the players,” Musa said.
PLATEAU UNITED TAMES THE WOLVES OF WARRI
A heavy downpour of rain caused a delay in the kickoff between Plateau United and the Warri Wolves. The Wolves dominated the encounter from the start, however, the final scoreline didn’t reflect that dominance given numerous wasted scoring opportunities.
Abba Umar and Mohamed Zulkifilu missed a host of opportunities to put their team in front in the first half for Plateau. Wolves rarely put up a fight except for occasional chances into Plateau’s defence.
However, the deadlock was broken in the 74th minute following a freekick taken by Wasiu Jimoh, which goalkeeper Uwueru Michael spilled. Sunday Anthony reacted quickly and slotted the ball into the net.
Six minutes after, Sunday Anthony’s corner kick found Mohammed Zulkifilu, who jumped to head the ball beyond Uwueru for Plateau’s second goal of the game and his eleventh strike so far.
Wolves coach Ortega Deniran expressed dissatisfaction with the match officials’ handling of the match, citing it as cause for his side’s loss. His counterpart, Abdu Maikaba said he was impressed with his team’s performance in spite of Wolves’ resilience.
Match day 28 NPfL results
MFM FC 1-0 Wikki Tourist
Sunshine Stars 2-1 Abia Warriors
Rivers United FC 1-0 Katsina United
Plateau United 2-0 Warri Wolves FC
Lobi Stars 2-0 Kwara United
Jigsaw Golden Stars 1-0 Kano Pillars
Ifeanyi Ubah United 2-1 Heartland Owerri
Enyimba 0-0 Nasarawa United
Dakkada FC 1-1 Enugu Rangers
Awka United 2-0 Adamawa United