Nigeria Premier League week 5 review


Gombe United moved to the top of the Nigeria Premier League log following a 1-0 road win over Kaduna United.
That win, the first away win in the League this season sent Gombe United to the top of the table with 10 points from 4 games.
It was Ahmed Aliyu’s 85th minute strike that ensured victory for the away side.
Late drama in Port Harcourt
In Port Harcourt on Saturday, there was mild drama as Sharks forced Warri Wolves to a 1-1 draw in a game that Thankgod scored twice.
Thankgod Ike scored for Wolves in open play in the first half , while Thank God Amaefule drew the host level via a coolly slotted in penalty in the second half. Goal scorer for Warri Wolves, Thankgod Ike said after the game that his target for the season is 5 goals and he is happy to have opened his account in Port Harcourt.
“It’s a promising season for us and we have also started well,” he said.
Sharks thought they had scored in added time but while the referee gave it as a goal, the assistant referee’s flag remained up and the goal was thereafter overruled for offside.
As a result, Sharks media officer, Confidence Idaa described as unfair the decision of the assistant referee to flag as offside the club’s late goal which would have given them all three points.
Idaa however acknowledged all hope was not yet lost as the club had strong belief in its players who are expected to perform better in future games.
Still in Port Harcourt, Dolphins, this time at their Liberation Stadium laboured to a 1-0 win Rangers in an exciting week 5 encounter in the league.
After a goaless first half, Rangers took the game to Dolphins and had three one on one chances in the second half but failed to put the ball behind Sunday Rotimi in Dolphins goal who was at the top of his game.
Former Dolphins boy, Akeem Yakubu also put the ball in long after the whistle had sounded so it was obviously not a goal.
However, with just two minutes of regulation time left, Olewezi Johnson who had come in for Azeez Shobola latched on to a shot taken by Victor Ezuruike to score.
Rangers coach, Okey Emordi was not too pleased with the goal which he believed was offside.
“It was a good match and the referee did very well until that Dolphins goal was scored.
“It was clearly offside. There were at least three players in offside position and that is the sad part of Nigerian football,” Emordi told naijafootball247.com.
Of course, Rangers could have wrapped up the game if their strikers were more clinical in front of goal to which Emordi said they were still rebuilding.
“I agree we missed lots of chances and all I can say is that this is a new team and new playing mentality. We will get better with time.”
Dolphins manager, Stanley Eguma (In pic)told naijafootball247.com that he was only too happy with the three points his side gained.
“The game was evenly matched and very difficult too. We thank God for the efforts the boys put in and I can say our team will only get better with time.”
Eguma laughed off suggestions by Okey Emordi that Dolphins scored from an offside position.
“That is not true. It was a good goal. Talking about referees, I even thought they were not fair to us because we were denied a penalty just before our goal.”
Dolphins with this win now move to 2nd on the log with 9 points from 4 matches.
New boys triumph
New entrants into the League, Rising Stars beat fellow new comers, Wikki Tourists 1-0.
Jigawa Golden Stars, another newly promoted side beat FA Cup champions, Heartland 2-0 in Kaduna.
Bala Mohammed and Noble Anasoh scored for Jigawa.
Another newly promoted side, Akwa United gained a valuable point on the road to Ocean boys as the game ended 1-1.
Ocean Boys went ahead in the 47th minute through Ogbonna Ezenwa but Ini Akpan equalized for Akwa United in the 72nd minute, his second goal in 2 consecutive games.
Media officer of Ocean Boys, Eddy Ehis told naijafootball247.com that it was a game of lots of lost chances.
“You only have yourself to blame when you create lots of scoring chances in a game yet fail to convert them,” Ehis said.
A tale of two bad pitches
In Minna, at the Bako Kontagora Stadium, Shooting Stars fell 1-0 to Niger Tornadoes on what Festus Allen, head coach of Shooting described as a bad pitch.
Allen blamed the loss to Shooting on the bad pitch and added that the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium pitch, home ground of his club is much better than what was served to them in Minna.
The Nigeria Premier League had asked Shooting to look for an alternative venue to play due to what they described as the poor state of the pitch in Ibadan.
Bad pitches aside, it was Sibi Gwar’s header, off a Benedict Atule cross that gave Tornadoes the slim win.
And a boring derby
And the derby game in Ilorin between Kwara United and Abubarkar Bukola Sarki FC ended goaless unlike the same fixture last season where Bukola Babes as ABS were called then, won 3-0.
The League resumes on Wednesday with the following fixtures
Week 6 Fixtures:
Wikki vs Lobi
Sunshine vs Tornadoes
Wolves vs Jigawa
Rangers vs Pillars
Gombe vs Sharks
Heartland vs Rising Stars
Enyimba vs Ocean
Akwa vs ABS FC
3SC vs Dolphins
Kwara vs Kaduna
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