NPFL MD 36 Review – Enyimba slip up against Bayelsa, Remo trounce embattled Heartland

It was an engaging midweek in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) as Matchday 36 delivered several noteworthy results.

Enyimba, who are closely trailing Rangers in the title race, dropped points at home against relegation-threatened Bayelsa United, while Plateau United secured a victory over Sporting Lagos at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena.

Kwara United, Remo Stars, Niger Tornadoes, Abia Warriors, Bendel Insurance, Akwa United, and Shooting Stars all claimed wins.

@ Remo Stars
Home Time Away
Akwa United 3-1 Katsina United
Bendel Insurance 2-0 Rivers United
Enyimba 1-1 Bayelsa United
Gombe United 1-3 Abia Warriors
Kwara United 2-0 Kano Pillars
Niger Tornadoes 3-2 Lobi Stars
Remo Stars 4-1 Heartland
Sporting Lagos 1-2 Plateau United
Shooting Stars 1-0 Rangers Int'l
Doma United Postponed Sunshine Stars

Here is a review of Wednesday’s NPFL games:

In the early kickoff in Gombe, Abia Warriors emerged as 3-1 victors, deepening the woes of their already-relegated hosts. Samson Obi opened the scoring for the visitors in the 10th minute.

Gombe equalised through Abba Maigari, but further goals from Obi and Antoine De Souza secured an important away win for Abia Warriors.

Sporting Lagos in deep trouble

Sporting Lagos plunged further into relegation trouble after losing 2-1 to Plateau United in Lagos. Izu Chimezie and Bernard Mundi scored for the Jos side in the first half.

Despite Jonathan Alukwu's second-half goal, Sporting Lagos couldn't salvage a point.

Akwa United significantly boosted their fight against relegation with a 3-1 victory over Katsina United at the Nest of Champions in Uyo.

A brace from Suleiman Sani and another goal from Kabir Osoba, with Bello Lookman scoring for the visitors, earned Akwa United a crucial three points, moving them further away from the relegation zone.

In Kaduna, Niger Tornadoes and Lobi Stars played out an entertaining game, with the Minna side narrowly winning 3-2.

Niger Tornadoes lineup
Photo by Niger Tornadoes Media

Clinton Jephta’s 9th-minute goal set them on their way, followed by Bashir Usman's 20th-minute strike.

John Lazarus pulled one back for Lobi Stars, but Chidiebere extended Tornadoes' lead. An own goal by Tornadoes made for a thrilling finish, but they held on for the win.

Enyimba slip up in NPFL title race

Title-chasing Enyimba surprisingly dropped points at home, drawing with Bayelsa United, who are battling to secure their NPFL status.

Enyimba went ahead with Alade Balogun’s 20th-minute goal, but Bayelsa equalised in the 35th minute with a beautiful strike by Ekeson Okorie.

With Rangers losing 1-0 to Shooting Stars in Ibadan, Enyimba missed an opportunity to close the gap.

Bendel Insurance edged Rivers United 2-1 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium. Chisom Okereke and Divine Nwachukwu scored for Bendel Insurance, while Shedrack Asiegbu netted for Rivers United.

Kwara United claimed a 2-0 victory over Kano Pillars, moving out of the relegation zone with two games left.

Ibrahim scored for the Ilorin side, and an Isaiah Ejeh penalty ensured Pillars returned to Kano empty-handed.

sporting lagos
Photo by Sporting Lagos Media

Heartland sink to the NNL

Heartland’s relegation from the NPFL was confirmed after a 4-1 defeat to Remo Stars in Ikenne.

Youngster Stanley Joseph scored Remo’s first goal in the 14th minute, and Togolese striker Franck Mawuema made it 2-0 six minutes before half-time.

Joseph then secured his brace before Heartland pulled one back. Midfielder Jide Fatokun added a well-taken goal to seal a convincing win for Remo Stars.

NPFL MD 36 Review – Enyimba slip up against Bayelsa, Remo trounce embattled Heartland
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a veteran Nigerian sports journalist with over 20 years of experience covering the beautiful game across Africa. Andrew served as a Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 Men's National Team for three years, offering a unique perspective on the future stars of Nigerian football.

Beyond reporting, Andrew is a pioneer in sports graphics creation within Nigeria. His expertise extends to sports kit design, making him a true multi-faceted talent in the African sports landscape.

Andrew's experience is vast, with collaborations encompassing prestigious names like Kickoff, SuperSport, the NFF (Nigeria Football Federation), and the NPFL (Nigeria Professional Football League)