The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) continued on Wednesday with matchday five fixtures across different centres.
Among the 10 games played, seven home wins, two away wins and a draw with a total of 17 goals were recorded.
Bendel Insurance and Plateau United were the only two teams to pick maximum points on the road.
However, Doma United got a hard-fought point in Yenegoa against Bayelsa United.
Bendel Insurance 100% record
Newcomers, Bendel Insurance continued to surprise football enthusiasts after picking a lone goal victory against El Kanemi Warriors in Maiduguri.
The win saw the Benin Arsenal becoming the third NPFL team to win their opening five games of the season after Kaduna United did it in 2005 and Heartland repeated the same feat ten years later.
Deputy Echeta scored on his third start for the visitors with a solo finish in the 29th minute.
The game was momentarily marred when the fans of the home team began to throw stones at the visiting Bendel Insurance team.
According to Bendel Insurance’s Twitter handle, the referee had to halt the game in the 39th minute to attend to the aggrieved fans.
The centre referee halted the play and attended the North end of the stand after some El-Kanemi fans were seen throwing stones at Insurance players.
EL-KANEMI WARRIORS FC 0-1 BENDEL INSURANCE FC#ELKBEN#NPFL23
— Bendel Insurance FC Official (@BendelInsurance) February 1, 2023
Elsewhere, Plateau United stunned their Northern rivals, Nasarawa United in a three-goal thriller in Jos.
The Peace Boys defeated the Solid Miners 2-1 to compound their woes as Nasarawa United are yet to win any game this season.
The Peace Boys having broken the deadlock in the 20th minute from defender Ibrahim Mustapha were pegged back by King Osanga’s 38th-minute finish.
However, the Peace Boys bounced back in the 69th minute from Onyebuchi Ifeanyi with another second-half masterpiece for the Fidelis Ilechukwu-led side.
The win then sent Plateau United to the fifth position with seven points behind Akwa United.
Enyimba hurt in Ikenne
After being trounced 3-0 in Benin, Remo Stars bounced back with a 1-0 victory over the People’s Elephants at Ikenne in a record-setting manner.
The defeat means Finidi George and his boys have suffered a second consecutive away game this season after a 2-1 defeat to Plateau United two weeks ago.
Samuel Anakwe scored the quickest goal of this league season with a 17 seconds strike to Edidiong Ezekiel’s assist.
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16 and………… 17secs
It took Samuel Anakwe 17 seconds to score the fastest goal of #NPFL23 #REMENY | #WeAreRemoStars pic.twitter.com/Jh9v4AGV8j
— Remo Stars Sports Club (@RemoStarsSC) February 1, 2023
The win put Remo Stars within reach of first-place Bendel Insurance and closed the gap to three points behind the Benin-based team.
Kwara United picked their first win of the season and they did it with the help of Wasiu Alalade who scored against his former side, Akwa United at the Lekan Salami Stadium.
The game also saw former Akwa United goalkeeper, Adewale Adeyinka in the position of denying the Promise Keepers from scoring against his current club.
However, the U23 goalkeeper did concede a goal from Cyril Olisema in the 69th minute before the Harmony boys bounced back in the 86th minute.
Yusuf Taiye’s brace also helped Gombe United get their first win of the season after overcoming Shooting Stars 2-1 at the Pantami Stadium.
The win helped the Savannah boys move past the relegation zone to seventh in group A.
In Port Harcourt, the defending champion Rivers United solidified their position at the top with a 2-0 victory over Wikki Tourists.
Gideon Duru’s brace was enough as the Garden City team extended their unbeaten run in group A while topping the group.
For Wikki Tourists, they continued their poor start to the season having now picked up just a point from a possible 15.
Joseph Atule’s late penalty helped Lobi Stars past stubborn Sunshine Stars 1-0 to close the gap to one point off the 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 with a 1-1 home draw to Doma United, the prosperity boys levelled 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.
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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