Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan started their 2017 Nigerian Professional Football League season with a morale boosting 2-0 win over Lobi Stars of Makurdi in Ibadan yesterday at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba Ibadan. The match was the first competitive game for new coach Fatai Amoo who rejoined the club late last year and who would no doubt feel pleased that his charges have started the new NPFL season on a high note.
The Oluyole Warlords established their dominance early in the game with Afolabi Waheed scoring in the 22nd minute. Their Markudi based opponents had no answer to their hosts as the Ibadan side continued to dominate. 3SC soon wrapped up the game, with substitute Sunday Faleye making it 2-0 in the 66th minute with his very first touch of the game and sealing the three points for 3SC. The win lifts 3sc to 3rd place in the first week of the league and will no doubt be a boost to the Ibadan side, who will look to do better than last season when it finished in 15th place.
In other results in Week 1 of the 2017 Nigeria Professional Football League
Rangers International of Enugu started their title defence on the wrong foot as they were defeated 1-2 by Abia Warriors. Rangers struck first through Fortune Omoniwari 10 minutes into the game, before Emeka Isaac’s deflected effort leveled terms for the visitors midway through the first half. Godwin Zaki got the winner from a penalty in the 72nd minute, after Chibuzor Madu handled the ball inside the area.
At the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar, Ibrahim Mustapha’s solo effort was enough to help Enyimba International dispatch a determined Sunshine Stars of Akure 1-0.
Goals from Guy Kuemian and new-signing, Emeka Ogbugh helped Rivers United to a 2-1 win at home to El-Kanemi Warriors. Bello Koformata got El-Kanemi’s consolation deep into added time.
Newly-promoted AbubakarBukola Saraki FC shocked Akwa United with a 3-1 win at the Kwara Township Stadium. Mohammed Mohammed had given the home side the advantage in the 12th minute, before Godspower Igudia headed home the equalizer for the visitors, seven minutes later. Stone Evbuomwam restored ABS’ advantage at the half hour mark from a penalty, before Abubakar Chindo capitalized from a defensive blunder to put the game behind the Promise Keepers.
Rivalry was renewed at the Karkanda Stadium, home of Katsina United, when two promoted sides, Katsina United and Gombe United faced each other. Katsina won 2-1. Tasiu Lawal struck first for the home side in the fifth minute, before Mannir Ubale’s stunning free kick leveled terms for the visitors. Suleiman Ibrahim sealed the win nine minutes before the break.
Sikiru Olatunbosun, Stephen Odey and Adegboyega Adekunle got the goals as MFM dispatched Niger Tornadoes 3-0 in Lagos. Plateau United handed newcomers, Remo Stars their first baptism in the top-flight with a hard fought 2-1 win at Sagamu. Wikki Tourists and Nasarawa United shared the spoils in Bauchi after a 0-0 draw and the game between Kano Pillars and Ifeanyi Ubah FC was abandoned midway with Pillars leading 1-0.