The 2023/24 domestic league season kicked off in remarkable style in various stadia across the country
Six teams claimed home victories in the seven matches that were played on the opening weekend of the 2023/24 Nigeria Professional Football League on Saturday, Soccernet.ng reports.
Kano Pillars fought hard at the Akure Township Stadium, but Emmanuel Oguagu’s ninth-minute strike gave Sunshine Stars a 1-0 win to start their campaign on a positive note.
The same scoreline was what Katsina United needed to shoot down Kwara United at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium in Katsina.
Former Abia Warriors starlet Bello Lukman got the all-important winning goal for the home side in the 72nd minute of the encounter.
Fans at the Umuahia Township Stadium were delighted to watch Abia Warriors carve out a slender 1-0 victory over visiting Niger Tornadoes, with John Peter’s 79th-minute effort proving to be the decider.
At the Adamasingba Stadium in Ibadan, Shooting Stars soared to a 2-1 win over Plateau United.
Ayobami Adekunle opened the scoring for the Oluyole Warriors in the 37th minute before Anayor Ogbonna doubled their advantage with a fine header midway through the second half.
Uche Onwuansanya reduced the deficit for United in the 77th minute, but 3SC held on to send the visitors back to Jos with an empty bag.
Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa witnessed a thrilling drama as Bayelsa United outscored Akwa United 5-3 to pocket all the three points at stake.
Akwa United put their noses in front thrice within the first 76 minutes, but the home team responded in kind each time.
Bayelsa United took the lead for the first in the 84th minute before they added a gloss to the scoreline deep into stoppage time.
Robert Christian Mizo, 23, was the best player on the pitch by some distance as he scored four of Bayelsa’s goals in a scintillating show of top-finishing prowess.
There was another exciting episode at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri, where Heartland FC fought back from going two goals down to seal a 2-2 draw with Lobi Stars.
It was all Lobi Stars in the first half as Adebayo Waheeb and Francis Odinaka handed the Makurdi-based outfit a perfect start.
But Patrick Nwogbaga gave Heartland a lifeline in the 73rd minute before Ezekiel Bassey fired in a late equaliser for the Naze Millionaires.
At the Awka City Stadium, Enugu Rangers forced a 2-1 defeat down the throat of Doma United to bag the maximum points.