Soccernet.ng monitored proceedings of the nine matchday four matches played in the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, on the weekend of October 21st and 22nd, 2023.
Here are the major highlights:
Bendel Insurance suffered their first loss of the season as the Benin Arsenal stumbled to a 1-0 loss to Gombe United at the Pantami Township Stadium in Gombe.
The game’s only goal came through Ahmed Jimoh in the 51st minute. It is the youngster’s second goal this term as he also netted the clincher in Gombe United’s 2-0 triumph over Enyimba a couple of weeks ago.
Heartland continued their search for a first win of the campaign as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Katsina United at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri.
The visitors shot themselves in the foot when Central African Republic defender Alladoum Kolimba put through his own goal in the 4th minute of the encounter.
However, Michael Ibe stunned the Naze Millionaires with United’s equaliser midway through the second period.
Former Super Eagles star Rabiu Ali extended his record as the oldest goalscorer in NPFL history as he scored the winner for Kano Pillars in their 1-0 win over ten-man Rivers United.
The Pride of Rivers defended with all they had, especially after Anthony Ohaegbu was sent off in controversial circumstances in the 74th minute.
But with the match heading towards a stalemate, the 43-year-old Ali popped up inside the box in the second minute of added time and directed a stunning left-footed effort past goalkeeper Abiodun Akande, throwing the Sani Abacha Stadium into delirium.
It is Sai Masu Gida’s first win this season after suffering two draws and a defeat in their three previous games.
Shootings Stars picked up their first away point of the campaign as they held struggling Akwa United to a goalless draw at the Eket Sports Stadium.
Akwa United remain stuck at the foot of the NPFL table with only two points in their kitty.
The 2021 NPFL winners are without a win after four games, as their record reads: two losses and two draws.
Alao Mohammed’s stunning strike was only good enough to earn Kwara United a 1-1 draw at home to Enugu Rangers.
Rangers drew the game’s first blood through Kazeem Ogunleye shortly before the halftime break.
Mohammed, however, brought down the roof of the Kwara Sports Complex, Ilorin, with his spectacular strike in the 53rd minute of the clash.
To the disappointment of their fans, the Afonja Warriors could not muster the winning goal as Enugu Rangers claimed their first point on the road.
Lobi Stars momentarily flew to the top of the league table after outclassing Abia Warriors 2-0 at the Lafia Township Stadium in Lafia.
The only team yet to taste defeat this season, Lobi Stars were business-like from kickoff and were already two goals to the good by the half-hour mark.
Liman Amadou gave the hosts the lead in the 15th minute before Alao Danbani doubled the advantage ten minutes later.
Lobi Stars had little trouble keeping out Abia Warriors’ attackers for the remainder of the match as they made it eight points out of 12 contested.
Plateau United sealed a narrow 1-0 victory over Sunshine Stars at the Jos International Stadium. Albert Hilary scored the only goal of the game via a sensational free-kick in the 31st minute.
Arguably, the most interesting game of the weekend came at the Remo Stars Stadium, Ikenne, where Remo Stars came from behind to beat Sporting Lagos 2-1 and end the visitors’ unbeaten run.
With three points and the Southwestern bragging rights on the line, fans anticipated a thrilling encounter in Ikenne, and they were scarcely disappointed.
Former Heartland ace Jonathan Alukwu stung the home team first as he gave Sporting Lagos the lead with a clever first-time finish in the 21st minute.
But Remo Stars responded in kind through Togo-born attacker Kwame Franck Mawuena ten minutes later.
The stalemate lasted till only the 51st minute, though, when former Shooting Stars forward Sikiru Adewale Alimi converted from the penalty spot to hand Remo Stars a precious win.
The victory lifted the Sky Blue Stars above Lobi Stars to the top of the league table with nine points earned from winning three of their four games.
Earlier on Saturday, Bayelsa United stumbled to their third defeat of the season as they were beaten 1-0 by Niger Tornadoes.