Thursday, April 18, 2024

Twist And Turns In Nigeria’s Premier League Continues

It has been a season never before in Nigeria’s lead football league, the NPL. Twenty seven match days are gone in a scheduled 38 match day series, no clear leader has emerged.

The  competitiveness  is underlined by the fact that all the teams top five bracket and even Doma United now in the 13th position have at one time or the other being in the first position.

Unpredictability could be the apt word, making the season on of the most keenly contested.  The keenness is underlined by the fact that just four points separate the current table-toppers, Enugu Rangers and the fifth placed Plateau United.  

 With most of the clubs having eleven more matches to go, the title is still open and swinging.

The home grounds are no longer sacred. Enyimba travelled to the fortress of Shooting Stars and scrapped a victory. Remo Stars were at the Aba slaughter house of Enyimba and did not only escape defeat, they got a win as they did in the creeks of Bayelsa.

 Buoyed with such record, any bookmaker would have tipped them to upstage struggling Sporting Lagos some weeks ago. Alas! Adios predictability, bye bye to form books.

 Like a pack of cards blown by the hurricane, Remo Stars fell 4-1 to hitherto goal-shy Sporting Lagos. If they boast of never being defeated by their South West rivals, Shooting Stars, that came to an end when they met penultimate Sunday in Ibadan.

Now, clubs can dream dreams of picking valuable points on the road instead of making just their home game a do-or-die situation.

  Plateau United can go to Owerri and inflict a massive 5-1 blow on the season’s punching bag, the faint-hearted Heartland FC.

With lower level of restiveness from the crowd, even if they don’t often agree with refereeing decisions, the calmer atmosphere  can enable more corporate support  and investment on the league in the coming seasons.

  Matchday 27 continues this Monday as Shooting Stars who have navigated their way upstream from a near drop zone to continental ticket contenders will be away to Niger Tornadoes.

  At the weekend, Remo Stars had one of their most anticipated rare victories as they beat their eternal rivals, Bendel Insurance 2-0 in Ikenne.

 It was the 10th encounter of the two arch rivals and more often than not, the result had always been in Bendel Insurance’ favour. Prior to Sunday’s epic clash, Remo Stars only defeat of Bendel Insurance was at the Super 6 in Lagos last June.

  They now have a bragging rights against the Benin Arsenals. Victory did not come on a platter of gold as the 2-0 scoreline may suggest.

 They had to dig deep into their armoury before Olamilekan Adedayo found the net. Two minutes to regulation time, Haruna Hadi put in the second goal.

 Apart from the Super 6 last season which was a play-off, it is the first time Remo Stars had beaten Bendel Insurance in the regular season since 2019.

  Like Remo Stars who rose from their 2-0 loss in Ibadan, Kano Pillars also returned to winning ways beating Sporting Lagos 1-0 in Kano.

Initial table-topper, Lobi Stars dropped valuable points at home when they laboured to hold Bayelsa United 1-1. The result gave the edge to Enugu Rangers who heartlessly compounded the woes of Heartland of Owerri with an away 2-1 win Owerri.

  In a Savanah derby, former frontrunners now finding the league too tasking, Doma United played 1-1 with Gombe United. In Ilorin, the ambition of Enyimba to top the league got a setback when Kwara United inflicted a 2-1 defeat.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

For Advert Placements, Email:

Latest Articles