With title-chasing Rivers United and Plateau United not in action until Thursday, the spotlight shifted to the downside of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) standings where several teams continued the fight for another stint in the elite division.
Katsina United, on19th position before the start of Matchday 24 actions, shrugged off a stubborn Shooting Stars to record a 3-1 win that helps their fight to avoid relegation this season. Madaki Alkali Dauda had opened the scoring for Katsina United in the 34th minute, but Sochima Elum restored parity after he met a loose ball with a sweet strike in the 53rd minute. However, the Chanji Boys regained their lead after Dauda converted a 59th-minute penalty kick while Aliyu Musa’s goal in the 91st minute secured a vital win that lifts the hosts to the 17th spot.
In Makurdi, Endurance Ebedebiri put Lobi Stars ahead against Gombe United on the stroke of half time while Chinonso Okonkwo doubled the lead from the penalty spot on the hour mark. AlAmeen AlAmeen came off the bench to half the deficit for the visitors in the 76th minute but Lobi Stars held on for their first win in four games, and a climb to the 16th position.
In Ikenne, Remo Stars turned out in style to grab their first ever win over Dakkada in the NPFL. Following a 33rd-minute opener from Tolulope Ojo, the visitors gave a scare by drawing level through Dan Etido’s effort six minutes later. However, the Sky Blue Stars showed class in the second half as goals from Qudus Akanni, Andy Okpe, and Sikiru Alimi earned the hosts a 4-1 win and another charge on a qualification for a CAF spot next season.
Kwara United’s up and down form continued as Abia Warriors forced a 1-1 draw in Ilorin. Samuel Tiza had broken the deadlock few seconds before the half time, but Valentine Odoh’s goal, ten minutes into the second half, earned the visitors their fifth away point of the season.
The push of Rangers Internationals for a continental tournament next season was dented by a 2-1 defeat against Niger Tornadoes. Goals by Segun Alebiosu and Musa Wakili in the 33rd and 82nd minutes respectively sandwiched Kenechukwu Agu’s equalizer on the hour mark.
The remaining five fixtures for Matchday 24 will hold across different centres on Thursday.
NPFL Matchday24 Results (Wednesday)
Lobi Stars 2-1 Gombe United
Katsina United 3-1 Shooting Stars
Niger Tornadoes 2-1 Enugu Rangers
Kwara United 1-1 Abia Warriors
Remo Stars 4-1 Dakkada FC
Sunshine Stars vs Rivers United
Akwa United vs Nasarawa United
MFM FC vs Wikki Tourists
Heartland FC vs Plateau United
Enyimba International vs Kano Pillars