By Fisayo Dairo
MatchDay 21 recorded a good dose of wins on the road even as high flying sides gave their title credentials some huge lift while relegation battlers continued to fight for their status in Nigeria’s top flight.
Table toppers Akwa United held on to their leadership spot with a convincing 2-0 win over local rivals, Dakkada FC at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Sunday. Striker Charles Atshimene scored twice in the 11th and 48th minute to give Kennedy Boboye’s men a comfortable win which keeps them on top for at least another match day.
Kwara United kept within touching distance of the leaders with a hard-fought win over Plateau United in Ilorin. After a goalless first half, midfielder Jide Fatokun broke the deadlock in the 49th minute with a strike from close range. Impressive playmaker Steven Jude who made the first goal then sealed the win for the Harmony Warriors eleven minutes from time.
Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa made a good impression on his debut as he set up captain Rabiu Ali’s 80th minute winner for Kano Pillars in their 1-0 triumph over basement side Adamawa United. Ali had missed a spot kick moments earlier but atoned for his miss, due credit to the returnee Musa.
In Enugu, former Rangers star Godwin Aguda scored in the sixth minute as Rivers United held on for a very crucial win at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium, Enugu. Rivers United had been known for away struggles but enjoyed a very crucial win which has moved them up the table.
Ossy Martins scored the opener for hosts Lobi in the 37th minute when he tapped home Ebube Duru’s low cross. Martins then turned provider for Monday Akile who doubled the hosts’ lead in the 62nd minute against FC IfeanyiUbah.
Heartland FC enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 win over Katsina United in Owerri. Winger Bright Onyedikachi gave the Naze Millionaires the lead in the 14th minute before Kelechi Chimezie doubled the advantage twelve minutes later.
The woes of Wikki Tourists coach Usman Abd’Allah were further compounded when his side lost 1-2 at home to Nasarawa United in Bauchi. Wikki went in front through forward Manu Garba who converted full back Olayinka Onaolapo’s cross in the 22nd minute but Nasarawa replied through in-form Anas Yusuf in the 33rd minute. Former Wikki coach Bala Nikyu then saw his Nasarawa charges take the lead seconds after the break courtesy of Silas Nwankwo.
MFM FC made a huge leap towards escape from relegation troubles with an impressive 0-2 win away at Warri Wolves in Ozoro. Ifeanyi Onyebuchi gave the Church Boys a shock lead in the 26th minute when he headed home Adeyinka Najeem’s cross before Clement Ogwu doubled the advantage for his side in the 40th minute. Wolves then had a chance to score from the penalty spot but Mark Daniel missed in the 68th minute.
While MFM smiled in Ozoro, Sunshine Stars of Akure did not do their own chances of escape any good as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Jigawa Golden Stars on their return to Akure after a banishment punishment to Lagos.