Week one of the Nigeria Premier League
The Nigeria premier league finally kicked off after so many hurdles preventing the league from kicking off, the first weekend was dramatic and it shows why we all have been clamoring for the league to begin.
MFM FC got an away win after they beat their former manager Fidelis Ilechukwu’s side Heartland FC 1-0 in Okigwe while Kano Pillars were held to a goalless draw at home by Rivers United in the opening day, Sunday, November 3 of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.
All eyes were on the Heartland FC who were hosting their manager Ikechukwu’s former side MFC FC in Okigwe on Sunday.
It was a fine NPFL debut for Clement Ogwu who recently joined MFM FC from Glorious Day Academy that scored in the 39th minute to put the away side in the lead.
Ogwu got his head on a corner from right-back Adeyinka Najeem for what turned out to be the only goal of the game in what was a shock win for MFM FC.
It was another frustrating home game for Kano Pillars who could not beat visiting Rivers United behind closed doors in Kano.
2017 champions Plateau United kicked off the season with a 3-1 home win over Lobi Stars.
Abdu Maikaba’s United were two goals up in the first 17 minutes first from a goal from Nerot Silas and an own-goal by Solomon Kwambe. Sikiru Alimi scored from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute to ensure the score was 2-1 at halftime.
In the 67th-minute winger, Amos Gyang Danladi scored to seal the win for the home side.
It was a double-header clash between Delta and Akwa-Ibom states on Sunday with Delta Force hosting NPFL debutants Akwa Starlets in Asaba while Warri Wolves, on their return to the big league hosted Akwa United at the Warri Township Stadium.
Both games ended in entertaining 1-1 draws.
The first goal of the new season was scored by Warri Wolves’ Samuel Amadi whose second-minute strike gave the home side the lead.
Last season’s joint-top scorer Mfon Udoh continued from where he stopped last season with a 28th-minute goal to bring Akwa United level. It would end 1-1 in Warri.
It was the Akwa Starlets who stunned the home crowd at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba with a goal in the 50th minute from Isaac George but substitute Bala Yahuza struck for Delta Force in the 70th minute to level the game.
Abia Warriors strolled to a 2-0 win at home to Katsina United courtesy of a brace from Jimoh Oni while FC IfeanyiUbah beat new boys Adamawa United 1-0 in Nnewi.
Wikki Tourists of Bauchi came from a goal down to beat newly-promoted Jigawa Golden Stars 2-1 in their adopted home ground in Gombe.
Lala Abdullahi gave Jigawa a shock lead in the first half but Wiki fought back with two goals in the second half from Saidu Abubakar and team captain Mohammed Idris Guda to get the win.
Plateau United are top of the table after the opening day followed by Abia Warriors, Wikki Tourist, FC IfeanyiUbah and MFM FC.
Reigning champions Enyimba and Enugu Rangers were not in league actions due to continental engagements.
NPFL Matchday 1 Results
Abia Warriors 2-0 Katsina United
Heartland 0-1 MFM FC
Warri Wolves 1-1 Akwa United
Delta Force 1-1 Akwa Starlets
Kano Pillars 0-0 River United
Plateau United 3-1 Lobi Stars
Wikki Tourists 2-1 Jigawa Golden Stars
FC Ifeanyiubah 1-0 Adamawa United