NPFL MATCH DAY 21 ROUND UP: Abia Warriors, Akwa Utd share the spoil, Niger Tornadoes, Remo Stars, Yobe Stars relegated. Pillars books a Super Six ticket

Akwa United Football club twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia in the penultimate game of this season’s Nigeria Professional Football League encounter decided at the Godswill Akpabio international Stadium, Uyo.

The Warriors, who needed to win the game in order to improve their position on the group B table, went ahead in the 29th minute through midfield maestro, Fatai Abdullahi who blasted home from close range after combining well with Ibrahim Olawoyin, Shedrack Asiegbu and Jimoh Oni.

The ovation that greeted the goal from the Warriors bench was still on when Akwa United equalised through Godspower Aniefiok two minutes later as he needed just to tap into an empty net after the Warriors defenders failed to clear their lines.

First stanza ended 1-1 and both coaches, Rafael Everton of Akwa and his Abia Warriors counterpart, Emmanuel Deutcsh effected half time substitutions bringing in Ocheme Edoh for league top scorer Mfon Udoh and Obi Samson for Anthony Okemmiri respectively and both players justified their inclusion by netting the decisive goals for their teams.

Abia Warriors top scorer last season, Obi Samson netted his sixth for this term when he kept his cool to slot in with nine minutes remaining.

The Umuahia landlords had opportunity to put the game to bed but Obi Samson and Jimoh Oni could not take advantage.

As the visitors drums sounded louder with the hope of a possible fourth away win of the season, Ocheme Edoh punished them for their profligacy when he nodded in the equaliser in the 90th minute.

Akwa United, who had already qualified for the Super Six play offs, maintained the momentum as they prevented Abia Warriors from scoring further goals until the end of the game.

The Warriors will end the season at home this weekend against Kano Pillars while Akwa travel to Nnewi to take on FC Ifeanyi Ubah

Michael Ohanu’s added time goal earns MFM maximum points and keep them in the race for Group A’s top three going into the last match of the regular season.

In that group, Lobi Stars, Enyimba and MFM will contest for the two remaining tickets to the Super Six with Rangers already qualified for that playoff.

Niger Tornadoes are eliminated from Group A, which already has Remo Stars out.

Kwara United and Sunshine Stars are also in the relegation zone while any of the other teams except the top three can still go down.

In Group B, Kano Pillars also join Akwa United to book their spot in the Super Six, while FC Ifeanyi Ubah’s shocking victory in Maiduguri ensure El-Kanemi Warriors fail to make the score, while the Anambra Warriors stay on course for the title playoff.

It’s only on the last Matchday that the other teams that will accompany Yobe Desert Stars down to the lower division will be determined.

2018/19 Nigeria Professional Football League (Matchday 21)

Group A: Rangers 1-0 Rivers United, Kwara United 2-1 Remo Stars, Enyimba 2-0 Niger Tornadoes, MFM 2-1 Katsina United, Bendel Insurance 1-0 Sunshine Stars, Lobi Stars 2-1 Wikki Tourists

Group B: Plateau United 2-0 Yobe Desert Stars, Nasarawa United 2-2 Go Round FC, Kano Pillars 3-0 Delta Force, El-Kanemi Warriors 0-1 FC Ifeanyi Ubah, Gombe United 1-0 Heartland, Akwa United 2-2 Abia Warriors

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