Enugu Rangers began the defence of their Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title on a worst possible note when they lost to visiting Abia Warriors 2-1 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.
Rangers, who took the league by storm last season, gave their fans an impression of a beautiful day when new boy, Fortune Omoniwari, opened scores in the 10th minute off a tantalising cross by left-back Chidiebere Okoli. But Abia Warriors would have none of that, as they equalised just 12 minutes later through Emeka Isaac’s deflated shot.
The Okey Emordi tutored ‘Ochendo Boys’ took the lead with 18 minutes left in the game when Godwin Zaki converted a penalty 18 minutes from time for the Umuahia-based club’s first win in Enugu.
Last season’s runners up, Rivers United, whose officials believe the title would berth in Port Harcourt this season, beat El-Kanemi Warriors 2-1, with goals from Ivoirian, Guy Kuemian (26th minute) and Emeka Ogbuh.
Bello Kofarmata pulled one back for Pillars in the 91st minute, but Rivers held on to win their first three points.In Calabar, former champions, Enyimba, secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Sunshine Stars, with Ibrahim Mustapha the goal scoring hero for the Peoples Elephant in the 29th minute.
Lagos side, MFM FC thrashed Niger Tornadoes 3-0 at the Agege Stadium with Sikiru Olatunbosun, Stephen Odey and Adegboyega Adekunle on the scorers’ sheet.Fatai Amoo’s Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan beat visiting Lobi Stars 2-0, with Afolabi Waheed (22nd minute) substitute Sunday Faleye (66th minute) getting the goals.
New comers, ABS defeated Akwa United 3-1 at the Kwara Stadium Complex, just as Katsina United defeated Gombe United 2-1 at the Muhammad Dikko Stadium, Katsina, with goals from Tasiu Lawal and Suleiman Ibrahim, while Mannir Ubale scored for the visitors.
Wikki Tourists and Nasarawa United, played out a barren in Bauchi, but debutants, Remo Stars got a rough baptism to life among the elite when they lost 2-1 at home to Plateau United.