Plateau United move clear with Enugu Rangers win
Plateau United moved to the top of the Nigeria Professional Football League standings by defeating Enugu Rangers 1-0 on Wednesday, while Sunshine Stars picked up a victory in the South West Derby.
The reigning champions moved up to top spot when Chizoba Amaefule headed home in the 77th minute to settle a largely uneventful contest, as United made it five home games without conceding this term.
United move up to 18 points from nine matches, one ahead of the three teams beneath them – Kano Pillars, Lobi Stars and Enyimba – having played a game fewer.
Defeat was a first in five games for Rangers, who remain up in ninth but only three points off the drop ahead of a tricky away game against Sunshine Stars on Sunday.
Akwa United continued their poor form away to Lobi Stars in Makurdi, losing 1-0, their fourth successive loss suffered at the Aper Aku Stadium.
Austine Ogunye, on for the injured Thomas Adeshina, scored a 32nd-minute winner to propel his side into third.
The result was a major setback for United, who have now suffered successive away league losses, dropping two spots to fifth in the process.
They will need to significantly improve their league form to stand any realistic chance of emerging league champions this term.
Tayo Adebogun’s sublime free kick ensured Sunshine Stars edged the South West Derby 2-1 at home to MFM FC, an outcome which extends the latter’s alarming dip in form this season as they’ve now lost their last five away.
Sikiru Alimi headed Sunshine in front with a simple finish in the ninth minute, although MFM were unlucky not to have levelled four minutes later through Sikiru Olatunbosun’s diverted strike.
Nojeem Akinyemi drew MFM level in the 51st minute, extending his recent rich scoring form, but substitute Adebogun decided the contest with a firmly struck free kick which left goalkeeper Abayomi Folarin with no chance.
The win takes Sunshine five spots above the bottom of the log and up to 15th, one above Abia Warriors and El-Kanemi Warriors.