With the frontrunners Rivers United and Plateau United not in action, the Oriental Derby in Aba between Enyimba and Enugu Rangers turned the match of the day.
And it was the Aba Elephants that completed a double over Rangers after a 2-1 comeback victory in the feisty clash that headlined match-day 22 of the Nigeria Professional Football League fixtures on Sunday.
The Peoples’ Elephants had claimed the match points in the reverse fixture following a 1-0 win in Nnewi and were all out to complete the double in Aba.
But it was Rangers who drew the first blood in the 14th minute when Ossy Martins rounded up Enyimba goalkeeper Bassa Djeri and scored following a through pass from Chidebere Okorie.
Enyimba restored parity in the 32nd minute when Adekunle Adeleke found Victor Mbaoma in a good position and the forward calmly slotted past Seidu Mutawakilu, in goal for Rangers
Mbaoma got his brace and Enyimba’s turnaround was complete in the 66th minute when he leapt highest to head in a cross from substitute Cyril Olisema.
10-man Sunshine down Warriors
At the Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu Ode, 10-man Sunshine Stars got the better of Abia Warriors with a slender 1-0 victory.
Ejike Uzoechi gave the hosts a first-half lead from the spot after Innocent Gabriel brought down Ikenna Cooper in the box.
The Warriors responded well in the second half and bossed, even though they couldn’t get on level terms.
They also had the numerical advantage to even the score when Sunshine midfielder Chinedu Ozor was sent off for a second booking but couldn’t find a way through goalkeeper Lawal and his defence line.
Tornadoes triumph in ‘no man’s land’
Niger Tornadoes won the game of tenants in ‘no man’s land’ against Wikki Tourists as they managed to record a nerve-wracking lone goal victory.
Chinedu Ufere could have given Tornadoes the lead earlier but had his spot-kick was saved by Wikki keeper, Ibrahim Galadima.
Musa Wakili pulled the chestnut out of the fire for the Minna lads with a late goal in the 87th minute to guarantee the Minna side maximum points.
Lobi, Pillars share spoils
It ended goalless between Lobi Stars and Kano Pillars in Makurdi as coach Baba Ganaru’s side couldn’t find a way through against his former employers.
It was also a game shy of talking moments as Pillars proved impossible to break down.
Finally, for the Sunday games, Mountain of Fire Ministries continued their push for survival with a convincing 2-0 home win over fellow strugglers Dakkada FC.
One goal in each half helped relegation battling MFM defeat Dakkada at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
The win, the second consecutive at home, fired up hopes of beating the drop in the camp of the church side.
The Olukoya Boys began the game with real intensity and had two goals chalked off for offside, both coming from new boy Micah Ojodomo.
The cagey affair eventually produced the first goal as Badejo Oluwaseun broke the deadlock in the 44th minute to send the home fans into a frenzy as they took the 1-0 lead into the second half.
MFM began the second half seriously and their effort paid off in the 65th minute, as Oladayo Alabi converted a free-kick on the edge of the visitors’ box, which was deflected into the net.
It stayed that way till the end of the game despite some late push by the Dakkada.
It was a perfect response for MFM, who lost 1-0 to Remo Stars in their midweek fixture, while Dakkada could not build on their previous 2-0 victory at home to Kwara United.
MFM are away to Plateau United in their next league game, while Dakkada play host to Heartland.
Matches continue on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the Matchday 22 of the apex league in Nigeria.
On Monday, Gombe United will play host to Nasarawa United at the Pantanmi Stadium, Fidelis Ilechukwu and his title-chasing Plateau United boys will be guests to Kwara United in Ilorin while Akwa United entertains struggling Shooting Stars in Uyo.
Heartland’s encounter against Remo Stars is fixed for Tuesday at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri.
The last fixture for the Matchday 22 will take place at the Muhammad Dikko Stadium in Katsina when league leaders Rivers United visit Katsina United