Nine months after the 2019/20 season was brought to a premature end due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020/21 campaign kicked off in different stadia across the country.
MFM 2-1 Warri Wolves
At the Agege Stadium, Lagos, Mountain of Fire & Miracles (MFM) FC got their season to a great start with a 2-1 victory over Warri Wolves.
With just seven minutes on the clock, Odeyemi Ebenezer’s firm header off a cross from Akintunde Bala put the Olukoya Boys in front.
The visitors pressed hard for an equalizer, but it was the hosts who extended their lead midway into the half when Muyiwa Balogun’s shot was deflected into the net.
However, wolves’ good play was rewarded shortly after when John Paul Chinedu got on the end of a brilliant Ihuarulam’s cross to pull one back for the visitors.
Nasarawa United 2-1 Wikki Tourist
Left-back Reuben Nicodemus, just back from the U-20 nation team camp, was the hero as Nasarawa United forced a 2-1 defeat down the throat of visiting Wikki Tourists.
United did not make matters easy for themselves on matchday one as the Lafia-based side had to come from a goal down to claim an excellent win over the visitors.
Two quick-fire goals in the opening seven minutes set Lafia ablaze as both teams went for each other’s jugular early on.
Promise Damala finished off a deceptive Manu Garba cut-back to give the away team take the lead in the fifth minute, but the home side responded almost immediately when Reuben Nicodemus squeezed the ball in from an acute angle.
The fullback then grabbed his brace shortly after the interval, turning expertly in the box before shooting past goalkeeper Nwabali to hand Nasarawa Utd the lead for the first time in the contest.
Adamawa 1-1 Kano Pillars
Title hopefuls Kano Pillars were held to a 1-1 draw away win at Adamawa United, in a game where either side missed clear chances to secure all three points.
Maisu Gida took a first-half lead on Sunday afternoon thanks to Rabiu Ali’s sublime finish as the veteran forward seems to get even better with age.
But in the 75th minute, Adamawa got back in the game thanks to a huge slice of fortune.
Isa Garba’s shot from range took a wicked deflection off Abdullahi Musa and landed in the net for the home side’s equalizer.
Plateau United 0-2 Kwara United
Plateau United, who finished top of the NPFL league table last term, began their campaign in the worst possible way, falling 2-0 in Jos to Kwara United.
The Ilorin-based visitors took a shock lead just past the hour-mark when Jide Fatokun directed his header on target from close range following the home team’s failure to clear their lines.
Michael Ohanu then headed home from a Kabir Balogun assist to make it two-nil to Kwara United five minutes later.
Ifeanyi Ubah 1-0 Lobi Stars
Ifeanyi Ubah FC made it three points at the first time of asking as the Senator’s Boys picked up a 1-0 win at the expense of Lobi Stars.
After a goalless first half, Ifeanyi Ubah needed just two second-half minutes to open the scoring against Lobi Stars, when Nonso Nzediegwu pounced on an Uzochukwu Ifejiofor assist to slot into the net.
Meanwhile, Enyimba International’s massive Abia derby clash against Abia Warriors, earlier billed for Monday, December 28, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 29, due to broadcast issues.