The Nigeria Professional Football League resumed this weekend with some exciting action. Completesportsnigeria.com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU lists five major attractions from the match day one fixtures in the new season…
PLATEAU UNITED LAY DOWN A MARKER
Champions Plateau United proved their title win last season was no fluke by claiming an impressive 1-0 win against Nasarawa United in Lafia. Rapheal Ayagwa’s 87th minute strike gave the Jos club the win.
Kennedy Boboye’s men were on the the back foot for the majority of the game with goalkeeper Okiemute Odah in fine form. They also stood firm in the face of hostile reception from the home fans.
They will look to build on the win when they host Rivers United in another tricky contest at the Jos Township Stadium on Wednesday.
LITTLE JOY FOR NPFL NEW BOYS
The quartet of Heartland, Go-Round FC, Kwara United and Yobe Desert Stars failed to record a win on the opening day of the season.
Heartland were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Sunshine Stars who defeated them 3-0 the last the two teams met at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri in 2015, while Go-Round were handed a 1-O defeat in their debut game in the Nigeria Professional Football League by Wikki Tourists.
Kwara United were humbled 2-0 by Niger Tornadoes at home with Yobe Desert Stars going down to a 2-1 defeat against FC IfeanyiUbah.
EL-KANEMI WARRIORS’ PORT HARCOURT NIGHTMARE CONTINUES
El-Kanemi Warriors’ previous nine trips to the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt ended in defeat and even though they put up a spirited fight this time around against Rivers United, they ended up losing by 1-0 courtesy of Ivorian striker Guy Kuemian’s 66th minute strike.
The Maiduguri club will hope for better luck next time.
KENNEDY BOBOYE EXTENDS OPENING DAY UNBEATEN STREAK
Plateau United head coach, Kennedy Boboye, has never lost an opening day fixture in the Nigeria Professional Football League and he extended the impressive run by guiding his team to an away win against Nasarawa United on Sunday.
Boboye escaped defeats on match day one during his stints at Sunshine Stars and Abia Warriors. He did same in his first season with Plateau United.
MFM STRUGGLE WITHOUT ODEY, OLATUNBOSUN
Last season’s runners-up MFM FC may find the going too tough this season going by their performance in Umuahia against Abia Warriors on Sunday. The Olukoya Boys are yet to find a suitable replacement for last season’s top scorer Stephen Odey, now with FC Zurich of Switzerland, and other top stars who left the club at the end of last season.
With Sikiru Olatunbosun also missing in action against Abia Warriors, Fidelis Ilechukwu’s men lacked cutting edge upfront and the end product was a disappointing 2-0 loss against the hosts.