Anthony Okputu: Yes! He's the only that has done it. Anthony Okputu: Yes! He's the only that has done it.

The Final lap: ABS halt Plateau's run as MFM rekindle the heat and squeeze Gombe into 'Gobe' while Enyimba, Akwa collapse - NPFL Matchday 35 review

Published in Awa Football August 22 2017 font size decrease font size increase font size
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By Shehu Idris



Anthony Okputu carved a Landmark, Abia's invisibility cloak got ripped off​ as Rangers, Sunshine, Rivers all won to ease their relegation struggle in a typical NPFL Matchday that produced just 5 away goals and no away points​. 


Let's​ start with table-toppers stoppers, Abubakar Bukola Saraki FC nipped the high-flying wings of Plateau United 2-0 at the Ilorin township stadium. A game that the struggling Henry Makinwa Boys needed to keep their survival hopes alive and they showed their intentions early. Just 5 minutes into the game, Wasiu Alalade was upended by Elijah Ogene inside Plateau box and Samuel Oyedeji converted the subsequent penalty before the In-form Alalade doubled the lead later in the second half and completed the revenge for the privately-owned club who were whipped 4-1 in the reversed fixture in Jos earlier this season. ABS are sitting deep at 18th on log with just 3 points separating them and 10th placed Rangers. 


From there to another bottom-team-face-top-team clash at the Agege Stadium. It was an unlikely goalscorer from an unlikely source for MFM as they squeezed Gombe United towards the precarious edge of the relegation cliff with a 1-0 win. Defender Bashiru Monsuru rose highest to head in a well threaded Chuka Onuwa's corner. Despite the goal coming even before the first half-hour mark of the game, the visitors didn't response; Infact they didn't look like they would respond as the Olukoya Boys trimmed the gap at the summit to 3 points. 


To the goal-rush at Aper Aku stadium in Markurdi, where Antony Okputu turned up the heat on Steven Odey for the Rashidi Yekini Golden boot prize. Okputu banged his third net-rustling NPFL hat-trick of season and became the first player ever to achieve the feat as Lobi Stars edged the combative Elkanemi Warriors 3-2. Okputu started the goal festival on the 11 minute, feigning and bamboozling a defender before plugging the ball beyond John Lawrence and just 9 minutes later he doubled it, displaying his inherent poacher's instincts to guard home a Sunday Akleche grass cutting center. The Desert Warriors halfed the deficit through Abraham Audu's close-range header but their defence gifted it away to Okputu and it's like giving Dracula a blood transfusion, he calmly slotted his 17th NPFL goal of the season beyond the on-rushing Lawrence. Although, Ibrahim Babangida did threw in a pocketful of trouble for Lobi when he slalomed through defenders before shooting it pass George Michael, the deficit ditch couldn't​ be filled and the Solomon Ogbeide boys ensured it that way. 


To the East where the current holders Rangers International dug deep to see off Kastina United 2-1 at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu. Two identical headed goals created from two Chinedu Udeagha's freekicks and were finished by Chibuzor Madu twice came on both sides of Timothy Danladi's well converted spot-kick. The win propelled The flying antelopes to 10th with just 3 points away from the relegation zone. 



Other results 


Wikki Tourists 2-0 Remo Stars

Rivers United 2-1 Enyimba 

Ifeanyi Ubah 1-0 Akwa United

Sunshine Stars 2-1 Niger Tonadoes. 

Shooting Stars 2-0 Nassarawa

Kano Pillars 2-0 Abia Warriors





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