By Temisan Amoye, Lagos
The Nigerian Professional Football League, NPFL returned for the opening weekend of the 2019/2020 NPFL season. Two games, Enyimba vs Nasarawa United and Rangers vs Sunshine Stars were postponed due to Enyimba and Rangers’ CAF Confederation Cup games on Sunday. With the two Nigerian teams going on to secure qualification into the group stage of the competition.
Match 1, Wikki Tourists FC 2-1 Jigawa Golden Stars FC, Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi
Lala Abdullahi gave Jigawa Golden stars the lead in the 15th minute. Wikki Tourist fought to come from behind, Saidu Abdullahi equalized for Wikki in the 47th minute. Wikki Tourist went on to secure all three points when Mohammed Guda scored the winning goal in the 61st minute.
Match 2, Plateau United FC 3-1 Lobi Stars FC, New Jos Stadium, Plateau
Plateau United secured all three points on the opening day of the 2019/2020 NPFL season. Silas Nenrot gave Plateau United the lead in the 12th minute, an own goal from Solomon Kwambe doubled Plateau United’s lead. Lobi Stars were awarded a 32nd-minute penalty, which Alimi Sikiru converted to make it 2-1.
Amos Gyang sealed all three points for Plateau United with a goal in the 67th minute.
Match 3, Delta Force FC 1-1 Akwa Starlets FC, Stephen Keshi Stadium, Delta
Newly promoted Akwa Starlets held Delta Force to a draw at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba. Isaac George gave Starlets the lead in the 50th minute. Bala Yahuza rescued a point for Delta Force in the 78th minute
Match 4, Kano Pillars FC 0-0 Rivers United, Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano
Kano Pillars Football Club were held to a goalless draw on Sunday by visiting Rivers United in their opening game of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League match. The match was played under closed doors at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.
The encounter was one of the three matches to be played under closed doors to serve as a punishment for Kano Pillars fans’ pitch invasion at the Super Six encounter with Enugu Rangers in Lagos.
Match 5, Heartland FC 0-1 MFM FC, Dan Anyiam Stadium, Imo
MFM FC produced the opening upset of the season by upstaging Heartland of Imo 1-0 in their opening NPFL match. Heartland coached by ex-MFM manager Fidelis Ilechukwu were stunned in the 40th minute, when Clement Ogwu popped up with a header to score the winning goal for MFM.
Match 6, Ifeanyi Ubah FC 1-0 Adamawa United FC, Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium, Anambra
Ifeanyi Ubah FC marked the new season with an opening win against Adamawa United. Lucio Kalu Samuel gave the Anambra-based club the lead in the 40th minute. It remained that way till the 90th minute.
Match 7, Rangers International (Postponed) Sunshine Stars FC, Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu
The game between Rangers and Sunshine Stars was postponed due to Rangers CAF Confederations Cup game which held on Sunday.
Match 8, Warri Wolves 1-1 Akwa United, Warri Township Stadium, Delta
Samuel Amadi gave newly-promoted Warri Wolves in the 2nd minute, only to be pegged back by Mfon Udoh in the 28th minute. A goalless second half saw both teams share the spoils in Warri
Match 9, Abia Warriors 2-0 Katsina United, Umuahia Township Stadium, Abia
Abia Warriors also started the season on a bright note when a brace by former Heartland star Jimoh Oni earned them a routine 2-0 win over Katsina United at the Umuahia Township stadium.
Match 10, Enyimba International (Postponed) Nasarawa United FC, Enyimba International Stadium, Abia
Enyimba’s fixture against Nasarawa United, was postponed due to Enyimba’s CAF Confederations Cup obligations.