Alimi’s brace leads Gombe United defeat as Rangers and Shooting Stars earn away draws


Premier Football League (NPFL) Remo Stars defeated Gombe United 4-0 in a matchday 8 tie at the Remo Stadium in Ikenne on Sunday.

The match from start to finish came to life in the 27th minute when Sikiru Alimi took advantage of a defensive error by the otherwise dominant Cletus Itodo in the Gombe United goal to score his sixth goal of the campaign and give Remo Stars the lead.

Remo’s second goal came shortly after, in the 33rd minute, when Mawuena scored from close range after a good move from the center of the field. The home team threatened more before the break, but the first half ended 2-0 in favor of the home team.

Gombe United entered the second half stronger and tried to contain the hosts by playing on the counterattack, but failed. Aniekeme Okon scored the third for the hosts in spectacular fashion after a good play by Franck Mawuena, who put the ball perfectly in the 58th minute.

It was a downward slide from there as the Savannah Scorpions couldn’t muster any more fight. Alimi got his well-deserved brace in the 83rd minute after an excellent pass from Sadiq Ismail, his seventh assist of the current campaign. The goal completed the rout of the team led by Daniel Ogunmodede, registering their biggest victory so far this season.

For Gombe, it is consecutive losses as they lament their fate. A convincing excuse would be that his performance that day was due to fatigue, since they arrived on the day of the game by road. In Katsina, Katsina United beat Rivers United 1-0 in a closely contested match that promised a lot but delivered little.

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Rivers’ pride could do nothing despite his best efforts to thwart Saleh Monsour, who was on target with his goal in the 47th minute, sending the home fans into a frenzy. It turned out to be the only goal of the game and a statement of victory for the struggling team.

Sunshine Stars and Rangers battled to a 2-2 draw in Akure. The intense encounter saw the visiting team take the lead in the fourth minute thanks to Godwin Obaje. The lead lasted just nine minutes and Ibrahim Yusuf responded with a delightful equalizer in the 13th minute, sending the home fans into a frenzy.

Moses Omodumeke gave the hosts the lead in the 76th minute in what turned out to be a start-to-finish encounter, but the Flying Antelopes had the last laugh, breaking the hearts of the home fans with a tie at the death in the 90+4 Minute thanks to former Niger Tornadoes striker Jonas Emmanuel who scored to share the spoils.

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In Benue, Lobi Stars recorded a hard-fought 1-0 victory over NPFL new kids Sporting Lagos. The pride of Benue got their breakthrough and what would turn out to be the only goal of the match in the 29th minute thanks to Sunday Chukwu.

Kano Pillars triumphed 1-0 against Enyimba in a close match between former NPFL champions. ‘Sai Masu Gida’ banished memories of last weekend’s massacre in Lagos, as Abbah Adams’ only goal in the 70th minute was enough to give him victory, dampening rumors of an internal crisis for now.

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Kwara United and Shooting Stars drew 1-1 in Ilorin. Shooting Stars took the lead in the 44th minute thanks to Malomo Taofeek, but marred his exit with a red card one minute into added time in the first half. Shooting Stars went ahead to claim the victory with a man down, but it was not to be as Mohammed Alao equalized in the 89th minute.

Niger Tornadoes and Bendel Insurance battled to a stalemate, and in Jos, Plateau United claimed a 3-1 victory against Abia Warriors in a match that was more one-sided than the scoreline suggests.

Plateau United was up 3-0 in the first 16 minutes thanks to goals from Christopher Nwaeze, who scored in the fifth minute, Daniel Barnabas in the ninth minute, and an own goal from Ogu Jerry in the 16th minute as the team local was running amok. Meme Okike gave the Warriors a goal back in the 27th minute, but it proved to be a mere consolation as the hosts never seemed to let a 2-goal lead slip away in a convincing victory.

At the end of matchday 8, Lobi Stars continues to lead the table with 18 points, followed closely by Remo Stars with 15 points and one game less. Heartland, Bayelsa United and Akwa United occupy the bottom three spots with four, six and seven points respectively.

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