Rangers remain top of NPFL TABLE

Edwin  - CEO April 7, 2024
Updated 2024/04/07 at 10:37 PM
6 Min Read
Rangers Image credit: NPFL
Rangers Image credit: NPFL

 After end of undefeated run in Katsina


NPFL Table for Season 2023/2024


By George Akpayen


Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) leaders Rangers had their unbeaten streak snapped at Katsina United, where they lost 3-4 on Sunday.


The opening 20 minutes went from chaotic to frenetic but produced end-to-end talking points as both teams scored two goals at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium in Katsina.


After ten matches without defeat, the Flying Antelopes began on the back foot when Azeez Falolu handed the home side the lead just four minutes into the game. The lead lasted only six minutes as Saviour Isaac drew Rangers level.


On 16 minutes, Katsina United restored their lead through Michael Ibe, but the table-toppers found their way back almost immediately when Godwin Obaje fired a shot past Pius Ibrahim on 18 minutes.


Right at the break, Katsina United went ahead for the third time in the contest through Ibe, who scored his second goal of the day.


At the restart, Rangers head coach Fidelis Ilechukwu opted to change the shape of his playing personnel by sending Chinemerem Ugwueze for Nasiru Auwalu. Still, it backfired as Andrew Idoko extended Katsina United’s lead by two five minutes into the restart.


At 4-2, Ilechukwu made more changes, and one of the substitutes, Joel Odoh, headed in Kazeem Ogunleye’s corners to trim Katsina United’s lead to one and set up a nervy final nine minutes. Despite the loss, Rangers stay at the top of the table with a superior goal difference ahead of second-placed Lobi Stars.


Lobi Stars needed just a solitary goal to see off champions Enyimba at the Lafia City Stadium in a game of title contenders. Alao Danbani scored the winner in 58 minutes.


At the other end of the table, bottom-placed side Gombe United suffered a five-nil defeat at Niger Tornadoes. Clinton Jephta scored twice on six and 86 minutes, while Chidebere Ernest, Mohammed Hussaini, and Bashir Usman scored among the rout’s goals.


Heartland won only their second game 2024 out of 13 matches as they bid to beat the drop. The Naze Millionaires saw off new boys Sporting Lagos 3-1 at the Enyimba Stadium in Aba, with Stephen Chukwude scoring twice and Chukwudi Esobe netting 12 minutes before time. Junior Lokosa’s strike for the Lagos club proved insufficient after full-time.


Kwara United and Sunshine Stars had to fight back to claim each point against Bendel Insurance and Bayelsa United, respectively. Both games ended with 1-1 scorelines.


Bendel Insurance got the lead through Meyiwa Oritseweyinmi on 25 minutes, leaving Kwara United to struggle for 39 minutes before they could level the score through Isaiah Ejeh’s goal from the spot.


Sunshine Stars striker Tunde Adeniji, who returned to the league after a vacation abroad, canceled Muniru Abdulrahman’s goal for Bayelsa United.


A day earlier, Plateau United defeated Doma United 4-0. David Onovo, Barnabas Daniel, Sunday Anthony, and Bernard Mundi scored the goals.


Another title contender, Remo Stars, edged past Akwa United 2-1. Abayomi Adebayo and Sikiru Alimi scored for Remo Stars before Akwa United got their goal off Kayode Bankole’s own goal after he inadvertently turned home the free kick of Cameroonian midfielder Gerome Heutchou off the woodwork.


The match will be rounded off on Monday at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano when Kano Pillars will play host to 3SC.


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