NPFL Review: Yobe Stars relegated, El-Kanemi Warriors suffer first home defeat in three years

Yobe Desert Stars line up for the game against Gombe United during the first stanza of the league (Credit: Yobe Desert Stars Official Twitter handle)
Yobe Desert Stars line up for the game against Gombe United during the first stanza of the league (Credit: Yobe Desert Stars Official Twitter handle)

Yobe Stars are as good as relegated from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) following their 1-0 loss to Akwa United in their Matchday 19 tie on Sunday in Uyo.

The Damaturu-based side had their faint hopes of survival dashed following the narrow defeat suffered at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.

Aniefiok Godspower’s first-minute goal gave Akwa United victory as they have now opened up a seven-point lead at the top of the NPFL Group B table with 37 points from 19 games.

For Yobe Stars, however, they are on 15 points from 19 games and stand no chance of leaving the relegation zone even if they win their three remaining matches.

Elsewhere, Abia Warriors brightened their own chances of spending another season in the NPFL after they pummeled Heartland 4-2 in Okigwe in the latest installment of the Oriental Derby.

The Warriors fell behind in the 11th minute after the Naze Millionaires’ Nnamdi Egbujor scored the opener for the home team.

However, two goals from Ibrahim Olawoyin and one each from Fatai Abdullahi and Jimoh Oni clinched the win for the visitors even though Chigozie Igoh scored one more goal Heartland.

At the El Kanemi Sports Complex, Maiduguri, El Kanemi Warriors’ 1,139 days unbeaten run was finally halted as the Borno Army were thrashed 2-0 by visiting Delta Force.

Ufuoma Ajamikoko and Egbo Otukhe got the goals for Delta Force.


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In Jos, Plateau United moved out of the relegation zone for the first time this season after they came back from behind to beat Nasarawa United 2-1 at New Jos Road Stadium.

Kano Pillars were also victorious at home on Sunday; beating Go Round 2-0 at the Sani Abacha Stadium. They have moved into the playoff spots as a result.

They are now in second place with 31 points from 19 games, while Go Round have slipped to the ninth spot and into the drop zone with 25 points.

In Aba, Enyimba faltered in their quest to finish the season in the playoff spots after they were denied maximum points at Enyimba International Stadium by Wikki Tourist, who held them to a 1-1 draw.

Enyimba have slipped to the third spot with 29 points from 19 games, ahead of their next game with Remo Stars in Sagamu.

In Ilorin, Kwara United compounded their woes with another goalless home draw against Rivers United at the Kwara Sports Complex. The return of the Harmony Boys head coach, Abubakar Bala, could not inspire the team to the important three points.

In the star match for the weekend, a 10-man Lobi Stars team secured a vital 1-0 win against Enugu Rangers at the Aper Aku Stadium.

Captain Solomon Kwambe was the hero for the Pride Benue as he scored the only goal that gave his side victory despite playing with one man less for the larger part of the second half.

In Lagos, MFM were held to a 1-1 draw by Remo Stars in a South West derby, a result which has seen the Olukoya Boys thrown out of the top three for the first time this season.

Sunshine Stars and Bendel Insurance also secured important home wins, against Niger Tornadoes and Katsina United, to ease their relegation worries.

NPFL Results

Enyimba 1-1 Wikki

Kwara Utd 0-0 Rivers Utd

Lobi 1-0 Rangers

MFM 1-1 Remo Stars

Sunshine 1-0 Tornadoes

Insurance 2-1 Katsina Utd

Akwa Utd 1-0 Yobe DS

Pillars 2-0 G/Round

Plateau Utd 2-1 Nasarawa Utd

El-Kanemi 0-2 Delta Force

Heartland 2-4 A/Warriors


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