New dawn in Nigeria football league as away teams hold dominance

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The complexion of the Nigeria Premier Football League took a different colouration as the match day 1 of the projected 18-day competition was concluded this Sunday.

Of the 10 matches, three ended in victories for the away teams while in four others, the away teams pulled off valuable points, drawing their games with the hosts.

Remo Stars of Ikenne and Rivers United were the only home teams that secured victories.

In fact, Rivers United had to squeeze water out of stone before they could overcome the stiff resistance put up by the visiting Lobi Stars.

Rivers United’s  lifeline came from a penalty kick nine minutes into the added time which Kenechukwu Augustine Agu scored.

Rivers United, last season’s runaway champions were given a good run even after they took the lead in the 16th minute through Morice Chukwu. But the visiting Lobi Stars fought back 10 minutes into the second half when Umar Abba levelled up.

But for Rivers United’s late penalty goal, Remo Stars would have been the only home side with a comfortable victory.

They beat visiting El Kanemi 2-0. Samuel Anakwe opened scoring in the 30th minute while Ezekiel Edidong doubled the lead three minutes to regulation time.

Enugu Rangers, the team with the longest stay in the Nigeria’s first tier league having not been relegated since 1972 suffered a home defeat when they lost to visiting Abia Warriors.

Bello Lukman shot the visitors ahead in the 41st minute while Monday Yakubu added the second goal in the fourth minute of added time.  

At the adopted home of Kwara United in Ibadan, they were forced to a barren draw by visiting Gombe United.

Doma, at home also suffered the same fate following their 1-1 draw with visiting Sunshine Stars.

It was a floodgate of goals as Plateau United at home battled to a 3-3 draw with a rejuvenated Shooting Stars who opened scoring in the 6th minute.

But the lead lasted for just three minutes as Emmanuel Onyebuchi levelled up in the 9th minute.

Anthony Achu Okachi launched the Shooting Stars back into the lead in the 14th minute and consolidated the lead in the 65th minute.

Plateau United then began their great fight back. Izuchukwu Chimezie reduced the tally in the 72nd minute before Onyebuchi levelled up 10 minutes later.

 All match day 1 results

  • Remo Stars 2-0 El Kanemi Warriors
  • Rivers United 2-1 Lobi Stars
  • Doma 1-1 Sunshine Stars
  • Bayelsa 1-1 Dakkada
  • Plateau United 3-3 Shooting Stars
  • Wikki Tourists 0-2 Niger Tornadoes
  • Nasarawa United 1-2 Enyimba
  • Akwa United 0-2 Insurance

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