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Rivers Extend Gap To 10Points, In Pole Position For NPFL Title

Rivers United again put more distance from their position and second-placed Plateau United after a home win over the Jos side.

And in other games of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) MatchDay 31, Gombe United, Katsina United, Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars, Enyimba and Nasarawa United all recorded important home victories on Wednesday evening.

Rivers United seems determined to be crowned champions before the season's final four games if they maintain their form and keep the ten points lead after MatchDay 35.

The Port Harcourt side now has 67 points while their day’s losing opponents, Plateau United are second with 57 points.

Chijioke Akuneto scored all the goals in the 2-0 defeat of Plateau United. His first was in the 34th minute and the second in the 82nd minute, thus drawing level on 14 goals with a teammate, Ishaq Rafiu and Gombe United’s Abdulazeez Yusuf in the race for the league’s top scorer.

Gombe United’s Yusuf netted one of the three in his side’s 3-2 defeat of struggling Heartland. It was the first time the Owerri side would score two away goals this season but they are still 18th on the log with 34 points.

Samaila Bello scored Gombe United's second goal in the 47th minute while Barnabas Daniel got the third in the 62nd minute.

Heartland attempted a late fightback through goals by Chukwudi Nwaodu’s penalty and Chijioke Mbaoma in the 68th and 82nd minutes.

Katsina United took a big leap off the relegation zone after a 2-0 home win against Niger Tornadoes.

Ahmed Taofeek and Madaki Alkali Dauda scored the goals in the 67th and 75th minutes to lift their side to 13th on the log with 39 points.

Enugu Rangers recovered from the embarrassing loss to Plateau United in the last game with a 2-1 victory over Wikki Tourists. Christian Nnaji scored a brace in the 13th and 49th minutes while Christopher John netted the Bauchi sides’ lone strike in the 38th minute.

The win has seen Rangers opening a three-point gap in the third position with 51 points ahead of fourth-placed Enyimba.

Shooting Stars dropped another point at home, this time to Remo Stars in the South West derby. It was the visitors that scored first from the spot after seven minutes through Sikiru Alimi who notched his fourth goal of the season since his mid-season acquisition but the Oluyole Warriors equalised barely five minutes later through Ebuka Anaekwe.

Lobi Stars got their first win in four games after a 3-1 home win against Kwara United. Chinonso Okonkwo who earlier missed a spot-kick atoned for it with the curtain-raiser in the 21st minute. Olamilekan Adams and Nanen Imenger added two more in the 47th and 55th minutes after a 42nd brief equaliser from ex-Lobi Stars, Samuel Tiza who elected not to jubilate because he netted against his former club.

At Aba, Enyimba relied on Chukwuemeka Obioma and Samuel Stone’s goals in the 29th and 79th minutes to chalk up a 2-0 win over Sunshine Stars. The victory sends Enyimba to the top four for the first time since the start of the second stanza. They are on 48 points but Sunshine Stars slid to the ninth spot with 42 points.

Nasarawa United did their relegation worries some good with a laboured 2-1 victory over Abia Warriors. Abubakar Abdullahi and Aliyu Abdullahi were on the score sheets for the Solid Miners while Flying Eagles’ Augustine Njoku made it a nervy finish when he reduced the deficit in the 55th minute.

NPFL Matchday 31 Results
Enyimba 2-0 Sunshine Stars
Katsina Utd 2-0 Tornadoes
Lobi 3-1 Kwara Utd
Akwa Utd 0-0 MFM
Gombe Utd 3-2 Heartland
3SC 1-1 Remo Stars
Rivers Utd 2-0 Plateau Utd
Rangers 2-1 Wikki
Nasarawa Utd 2-1 Abia Warriors

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