NPFL Match Day 5 Round Up: Enyimba humbled, as Rabiu Ali blast Kano Pillars past Akwa United

League veteran Rabiu Ali netted a fantastic hat-trick to help Kano Pillars overcome 10-man Akwa United in a thrilling encounter at the Sani Abacha Stadium Kano. The win takes Kano Pillars joint-top of the league with Rangers International on 10 points after Match Day 5 fixtures.
Michael Ibe Okoro drew first blood for United after just 10 minutes before Ali bagged a 12 minute brace to turn the tie around. However former Pillars man Ubong Ekpai dragged Akwa back on level terms with a minute of play left in the half. Ali got his third and the game’s final goal two minutes after the restart before Ekpai received his marching others as the game petered out.  
Plateau United and Abia Warriors settled for a score draw at Rwang Pam Stadium in Jos. Victor Namo beat the offside trap and fired a low shot into the net to open the scoring for the hosts in the first half but Uche Ihuarulam nodded in the equalizer barely ten minutes after the restart.
But it was goalkeeper John Gaadi who emerged the hero for Abia Warriors after denying Charles Okafor a stoppage time penalty to end the game a goal apiece.
In an entertaining first Lagos derby in 18 years, Ikorodu United failed to take advantage of 10-man MFM FC as the game ended in a 0-0 draw.
Shooting Stars relied on goals from Izu Joseph and super sub Kabir Umar to secure another home victory as they dispatched Giwa FC 2-1 at Adamasingba Stadium on Sunday.
The Oluyole Warriors banged in the opener 2 minutes after kickoff before guaranteeing the three points with the second goal two minutes from time. There was however still enough time for the visitors to nick in a consolation goal via the boot of Super Sand Eagles star Isiaka Olawale.
A nervy Heartland FC edged a stubborn Lobi Stars 1-0 in Owerri to secure all three points on offer. Fortune Omoniwari got the only goal of the game for the homers four minutes before halftime when he connected a cross from Onyebuchi Ajunwa.
In Katsina, defending champions, Enyimba International were turned back 2-0 by El-Kanemi Warriors in what is considered one of the big wins of the night. The Peoples’ Elephant thus continued their indifferent start to the season having recorded two defeats on the road and a nail biting 1-0 win against newly promoted side, Ikorodu United. Enyimba has two outstanding games.

In Warri, the Seasiders piped Niger Tornadoes 1-0 thanks to Achibi Ewenike’s 5th minute screamer while Guy Kuemian scored in added time to ensure Rivers United claimed all three points against Nasarawa United in Port Harcourt.

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