NPFL Roundup: Relegation battle heats up as Plateau close gap on Rivers at the top

With wins by all the relegation threatened teams, the race to avoid relegation from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) became more tight even as Plateau United cut Rivers United’s lead at the summit to seven points.
Dakkada, Heartland and Niger Tornadoes recorded wins but MFM drew and the result could be a boost to the survival bids of the three with six rounds of matches left in the 2021/22 NPFL campaign.
Relegation candidate, Dakkada required a 27th-minute goal from Emmanuel Anyaosi and a brilliant strike from captain Aniekan Ekpe in the 56th minute to see off Shooting Stars in a 2-0 win. Elsewhere, Adewole Adeniji’s 47th-minute goal helped Heartland FC to a 1-0 victory over Akwa United.
In Kaduna, Niger Tornadoes ended a five-match winless streak against Enyimba International. Munir Idris’ goal in 31st minute and a converted penalty by Musa Wakili on the stroke of half time sandwiched Chukwuemeka Obioma’s 36th-minute equaliser as the Ikon Allah boys ran out 2-1 winners against The People’s Elephants.
Meanwhile, Rivers United’s title push hit a slight snag after they lost 1-0 thanks to Manu Garba’s 14th-minute goal in their match against Wikki Tourists.
Plateau United closed the gap at the summit to seven points following a 1-0 victory over resurgent Kano Pillars. Jesse Akila’s goal in the 38th minute earned the Tin City club a victory that ended Pillars’ run of three consecutive wins.
Sikiru Alimi continued his impressive goal scoring form as his 17th-minute goal helped Remo Stars snap a run of three games without a win with a 1-0 victory over visiting Gombe United in Ikenne.
In Ilorin, Issa Gata’s goal on the half hour mark and an 81st-minute effort by Junior Lokosa earned Kwara United a 2-0 win Katsina United.
Sunshine Stars warded off a late fightback to record a 2-1 victory over Nasarawa United. The Owena Whales raced to a two-goal lead as Chigozie Chilekwu and Leonard Ugochukwu netted within the opening quarter of an hour. However, Chinedu Ohanachom’s goal in the 73rd minute gave the game a nervy finish in Akure.
Earlier on Sunday, the latest Oriental Derby saw Abia Warriors defeat Enugu Rangers by 2-0 scoreline through goals by Valentine Odoh and Paul Samson in the 45th and 48th minutes respectively.
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