By Zazi Bariza
Six 1-0 victories and a barren draw formed the picture of a goal-starved match day six of the Nigerian Professional Football League on Sunday.
In what was touted as the biggest fixture of the weekend, FC Ifeanyi Uba scored in the 75th minute to earn a slim 1-0 win over eastern neighbours Rangers.
Referee Patrick Ishaya pointed to the spot after Rangers goalkeeper, Nana Bonsu, who had saved a penalty earlier in the game, felled debutant Godwin Obaje in the box.
Prince Aggrey made no mistake from the the resultant kick to send thousands of home supporters at the FC Ifeanyi Ubah international stadium into delirium.
The visitors finished the game with ten men as Papi Ousmane was sent off in the 86th minute for an incautious tackle on Obaje. The result ends Ifeanyi Ubah's run of three matches without a win, while Rangers' poor start to the season continues.
At the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano Pillars left it till late to pick all three points against new boys ABS.
The game seemed to be heading for a stalemate but Rabiu Ali set up substitute Adamu Mohammed, who fired past Boje Abdullahi four minutes into added time to give Kadiri Ikhana’s men their third home win of the season.
The result keeps Pillars 7th on the table with 9 points from six matches while ABS, despite the loss remain in the top four with 10 -points from same number of games.
In Uyo, Musa Newman's solitary strike six minutes from time was all Akwa United needed to pick maximum points from Remo Stars.
The former MFM striker pounced on Moses Ebiye's ball to hand Abdul Maikaba his first win in charge of the Promise Keepers.
The result also means Remo Stars, who are without a substantive coach since the departure of Nduka Ugbade, have for the first time failed to the score in a topflight game.
The weekend's only away win was recorded at the Akure Township Stadium where in form MFM, courtesy of yet another Stephen Odey goal, secured a hard fought 1-0 win over Sunshine Stars. Odey's goal, his fifth of the season, made certain that Fidelis Illechukwu's men cut Plateau United's lead on the table to just one point after they could only manage a barren draw in their own fixture at Nasarawa United.
The only fixture to witness as many as three goals was the matchup between Shooting Stars and Rivers United in Ibadan where the host produced their best performance of the season to claim a 2-1 win.
It took Sunday Faleye just 17 minutes to open scoring for Shooting when he capitalised on a disastrous defending from United to fire the hosts into the lead.
Thereafter, it was a tale of missed chances for the Oluloye Warriors with Samuel Olabisi's freekick coming off the post before Obayomi Sunday failed to convert from close range. United, however got themselves back in the game when, against the run of play, Lukman Mohammed scored off a corner kick.
Shooting almost restored their lead straight from the restart but Jide Apena's effort came off the post. Apena eventually became the match winner, scoring with just over twenty minutes left on the clock.
In all, 13 goals were scored on the match day, averaging 1.3 goals per match. It is the joint lowest goal per match ratio for any match day since the commencement of the current campaign on 14th January.
ALL MATCH DAY 6 RESULTS
Kano Pillars 1-0 ABS
Shooting Stars 2-1 Rivers United
Lobi Stars 2-0 Wikki Tourists
FC Ifeanyi Uba 1-0 Rangers
Niger Tornadoes 1-1 Katsina United
Akwa United FC 1-0 Remo Stars
Elkanemi Warriors 1-0 Enyimba International
Nasarawa United 0-0 Plateau United
Abia Warriors 1-0 Gombe United
Sunshine Stars 0-1 MFM FC