NPFL: Bendel Insurance, Rivers United Continues Group dominance as Kwara United gets first win

Remo Stars vs Enyimba

The Nigeria Premier Football League(NPFL) resumed play on Wednesday with its Matchday Five action. Newcomers Bendel Insurance continued their unbeaten start to the season with their fifth victory in as many games.

In group B, the defending champion Rivers United solidified their position at the top by defeating the underachieving Wikki Tourist in 10 games spread around the country.

Group A;

Bendel Insurance recorded their fifth win of the season with a 0-1 away win in Maiduguri against fellow newcomer El Kanemi Warriors.

Deputy Echeta on his third straight start for the Benin Arsenals scored his first goal of the season in the 29th minute after completing a solo run before slotting the ball into the bottom right corner to keep the away side’s winning run intact and stretched their lead at the top of the table to three points.

After a 3-0 thrashing in Benin, Remo Stars bounced back with a 1-0 victory over record holders Enyimba FC at Ikenne.

Samuel Anakwe scored the quickest goal of this league season, the midfielder scored his second of the season from close range after being set up by Edidiong Ezekiel with just 17 seconds on the clock.

The win put Remo Stars within reach of first place Bendel Insurance and close the gap to three points behind the Benin based team.

Kwara United scored their first and second goal of the season to defeat Akwa United 2-1 at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan to record their first win of the season after two draws and two losses from their first four games.

Plateau United picked up their first away victory in a third attempt this season with a 1-2 win over Nasarawa united. Having been the second best away side in the league last season, goals from each halves by Ibrahim Mustapha and Onyebuchi Ifeayin gave the Jos based side who moved up to fifth in the group after picking their second win of the season.

Yusuf Taiye’s brace helped Gombe United get their first win of their season after overcoming Shooting Stars 2-1 at the Platinum Stadium in Gombe to move past relegation zone to seventh in group A.

Group B

Defending champion Rivers United defeated Wikki Tourist 2-0 in Port Harcourt. Gideon Duru’s double was enough as the south South side extended their unbeaten run in group A whilst topping the group. While their opponent Wikki Tourist continued their poor start to the season having now picked up a point from possible 15.

Joseph Atule’s late penalty helped Lobi Stars past stubborn Sunshine Stars 1-0 to close the gap to one point of top in group B.

After two defeats and two draws, Mohammed Hadi’s half hour mark strike helped Enugu Rangers beat Dakkada FC in Enugu, while Abia Warriors also defeated Niger Tornadoes 1-0 in Umuahia to return to winning ways after two straight defeats.

Bayelsa United ended matchday five actions with a 1-1 home draw to Doma United, the prosperity boys leveled the scoring in the 53rd minute after falling to a first half goal by the away side, recording the only draw of the midweek fixture.

Match facts:

Bendel Insurance became the third NPFL team to win their opening five games after Kaduna United in 2005 and Heartland 2015.

Ibrahim Mustapha scored NPFL career goal number 50 in Plateau United’s game against Nasarawa united. He joins the likes of Rabiu Ali and Ndifreke Effiong amongst a few others who have surpassed this Milestone.

Remo Stars’s Samuel Anakwe scored the fastest goal of the ongoing league season, his strike against Enyimba was recorded at 17 seconds after the match kickoff.

Matchday five results;

El-kanemi 0-1 Bendel Insurance
Nasarawa Utd 1-2 Plateau Utd
Bayelsa Utd 1-1 Doma Utd
Remo Stars 1-0 Enyimba
Kwara Utd 2-1 Akwa Utd
Gombe Utd 2-1 3SC
Abia Warriors 1-0 Tornadoes
Rivers Utd 2-0 Wikki Tourists
Rangers 1-0 Dakkada
Lobi Stars 1-0 Sunshine

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