NPL Week 10 wrap – Babadidi nets 7th goal


by George Akpayen

After losing three games back-to-back, Gombe United finally returned to winning ways but they left it really late as Mustapha Babadidi stepped up to win the points and also move into pole position for the leading scorers’ award.

The goals were few on Matchday 10. Twelve goals were scored in nine games, as champions, Dolphins were away on continental duty in Malabo.

Wikki Tourists 1 – 0 ABS FC

In Bauchi, the Tourists continued their fine home run by defeating ABS by a goal. Aminu Abubakar scored on nine minutes and Ladan Bosso’s men held on to the end to remain in the top half and take their total points so far this term to15. ABS remain rooted to the bottom of the standings with five points.

3SC 1 – 0 Ocean Boys

Osagona Ighodaro saved 3SC head coach, Festus Allen another torrid time in Ibadan by grabbing the winner on 52 minutes. It was Ighodaro’s third goal of the season and the win over former champions, Ocean Boys meant the Oluyole Warriors climbed from 14th to 10th position on the log while their opponents remain in the bottom three.

Rising Stars 0 – 0 Sharks

Sharks face the second Akure club in successive games and this time John Obuh’s men avoided defeat against Premier League new boys, Rising Stars. The newcomers are the draw specialists with five games tied and remain in the top 10 for another week, as the Blue Angels are still fourth from bottom.

Kano Pillars 1 – 0 Lobi Stars

Sunday’s early kick-off in Kano produced just one goal. Kano Pillars as expected edged Lobi Stars 1 – 0 in a game played behind closed doors. Kano Pillars’ big forward, Gambo Mohammed’s goal in the 30th minute was enough for Baba Ganaru’s team to claim all points to move into 12th place. Lobi Stars are just a place above the drop zone.

Kwara United 2 – 1 Akwa United

Kwara United sit on top of the NPL after a nervy 2 – 1 win over Akwa United in Ilorin on Sunday. Jaiyeola Yusuf converted a spot kick on 30 minutes and Anthony Okemmiri followed up with a goal seven minutes later to double the lead for the hosts. But Kwara United conceded late in the first half through Haruna Babalola’s penalty and endured a shaky end to the game. Akwa United in spite of the loss are still in the top half of the table.

Enugu Rangers 1 – 1 Heartland

Nimble-footed Chikeluba Ofoedu earned a penalty early and dispatched it pass Daniel Akpeyi to give Rangers the lead in this southeast derby also known as the Oriental Derby. But Rangers’ old boy, Brendan Ogbu returned to put spanners in the works of his former team by earning them the share of the spoils when he struck home a low cross on 62 minutes for the equaliser. Rangers are now third on the log and Heartland are 14th.

Enyimba 2 – 0 Warri Wolves

Gbolahan Salami proved that he has settled well into the Enyimba squad by scoring his side’s first goal on 12 minutes and Onyekachi Okoye killed off any contest from Warri Wolves on 72 minutes. Josiah Maduabuchi, however, failed to score for the first time in Enyimba’s home game this season. Enyimba have moved into the top four while Wolves have dropped to seventh.

Kaduna United 1 – 0 Niger Tornadoes

It was quite an uneventful game in Kaduna as Tornadoes stood in the face of their hosts, Kaduna United. But Buhari Jafar ended the ambition of Justin Tenger’side leaving with a point when he slotted home a 72nd penalty. Kaduna United are just two points above the drop zone and Tornadoes are two points better than the fourth team from bottom.

Gombe United 1 – 0 Sunshine Stars

Sunshine Stars’ struggling start to this season continued at the Pantami Stadium. It was teenage striker, Mustapha Babadidi that made the difference with five minutes to time to help Gombe United win after three straight losses to Dolphins, Enyimba and Kwara United. Babadidi is now the leading scorer with seven goals, as Gombe United return to the top two.

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