Akwa United taught Lobi Stars a harsh footballing lesson as the Promise Keepers handed a comprehensive 3-0 defeat on the Makurdi-based side in a game week 18 Nigeria Professional Football League clash on Sunday.
Ikechukwu Nwani gave the home side the lead in the 17th-minute, slotting the ball into the back of the net after receiving a fine pass from Samson Gbadebo.
Forgotten Super Eagles striker Mfon Udoh then seized the game by its scruff, knocking in a brace before halftime.
The former Enyimba star capitalised on some hesitant defending from the visitors to smash home the match’s second goal off a Ndifreke Effiong assist in the 23rd minute. And moments before the halftime break, the 29-year-old ace then bagged his brace, his third goal in two matches, after good work again from Nwani.
United held on to their lead brilliantly through the second period before the visitors were reduced to ten men when goalkeeper Aliko was dismissed for handling the ball with his hand outside the box in an attempt to stop a goal-bound Saddick.
Veteran Nigerian international Rabiu Ali was again on the goalscorer’s chart to power Kano Pillars a come-from-behind 2-1 win at home to Heartland.
Mai Su Gida was flirting with a home loss when Chidera Eze struck for the away team five minutes before the interval.
But Ali, Pillars skipper and one of the side’s greatest ever players, came to the rescue blasting home from the penalty spot after Okon Asuquo was fouled in the area.
Much of the second half was a battle fought without any goal before the referee showed Heartland’s Shedrack Oghali a straight red card for a professional foul nine minutes before time.
And right at the death, Kano Pillars were awarded a penalty which Ebuka David converted to give the home side a precious victory.
With the latest win, Kano Pillars join Kwara United, who recorded the only away win of the day at Katsina United, at the top of the NPFL table.
Akwa United are a mere point behind in third place, but the Promise Keepers have played one fewer game than the two teams above them.
#NPFL21 FT SCORES (SUNDAY)
Akwa Utd 3-0 Lobi
Rivers Utd 1-0 Sunshine Stars
Plateau Utd 2-1 Rangers
Nasarawa Utd 5-3 Abia Warriors
Katsina Utd 1-2 Kwara Utd
Adamawa Utd 0-0 Wikki
Kano Pillars 2-1 Heartland
Wolves 3-1 FC Ifeanyi Ubah