As the 2016 Nigeria Professional Football League goes into week 26 matches today across the country, it will be battle royal as teams battle for crucial points to shore up their fortunes. In Jos, Plateau United’s title credentials will be in for a major test against Nasarawa United today.
The Peace Boys hold a five-point lead over El Kanemi Warriors and MFM FC at the summit. Coach Kennedy Boboye have the luxury of calling on the trusted Dele Ajiboye, Daniel Itodo, Emeka Umeh, Golbe Elisha, Hamisu Saleh, Philip Azango and Owolabi Hamzat to perform the magic.
For coach Kabiru Dogo, he is confident of grabbing a good result at the Rwang Pam Stadium, following a deserved 1-0 win over Enyimba the last time out. His faith is hinged on the Jos connection he’s got in the team like Anyu Ishaya, Emmanuel Makama and Abdulbasit Shittu.
Enugu Rangers Vs FC IfeanyiUbah
Looking for goals? Look no further than the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium where Enugu Rangers – an attacking minded side – face FC IfeanyiUbah, whose have produced 29 goals in total this season.
The Oriental Derby should certainly live up to it billing as the two sides have promised a positive brand of football ahead today’s meeting.
This week’s match-up is especially enticing since it pits veteran defender Okey Odita against the dreaded Godwin Obaje.
Enyimba FC Vs El Kanemi Warriors
The form of Mfon Udoh, who has struck 10 goals this term, is cause for optimism as Enyimba welcome El Kanemi Warriors to the UJ Esuene Stadium.
El Kanemi are five places and three points better than the People’s Elephant after they thumped Remo Stars 2-0 in Maiduguri and Enyimba will want to close up on them.
MFM FC Vs Sunshine Stars
It has been a superb season for MFM, but a win over Sunshine Stars rekindles their hopes of winning the Nigeria Professional Football League title
With 13 matches to go, the Owena Whales are placed 17th, 10 points behind third-placed MFM who have 40 points.
Continent football will not be coming to Akure next season and Duke Udi, newly appointed as the handler of side, is saddled with the sole responsibility of avoiding the drop.
The reverse was a slim 1-0 victory for the Olukoya Boys, with Stephen Odey finding the back of the net at the Akure Township Stadium.
Wikki Tourists Vs Lobi Stars
Wikki Tourists were fortunate to nick a 0-0 draw away to FC IfeanyiUbah. They have 31 points from their 25 matches so far and are 16th in the table, one place ahead of the danger zone.
Lobi Stars earned a vital win in their last league fixture as they edged past Rivers United 1-0 thanks to Imenger Nanen’s late strike in Makurdi.
The Pride of Benue are the better of the two sides considering their head-to-head record as they have seven wins in 17 outings to the Bauchi Elephants’ six.
‘Super Eagles Coach Lacks Class’
Former Nigeria international, Victor Ezeji, has slammed Gernot Rohr, describing the German as a coach who has not improved the Super Eagles, with reference to their style of play and talent management.
Rohr recently helped the three-time African champions qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon after their third-place finish at the 2019 tournament in Egypt.
Despite the team’s success, the former Enyimba striker said the tactician, who has been at the helm since 2016, has not impacted the Super Eagles with a particular style of football and he lacks the class to co-ordinate the players.
Ezeji expressed his frustration after Rohr’s men failed to score a goal in their twin friendlies against Cameroon. They suffered a 1-0 loss against the Indomitable Lions last Friday before playing out a goalless draw on Tuesday.
“I have never been a fan of Gernot Rohr but the truth is, sometimes it is not even about the result and sometimes, your team can play very well and lose, people could say they lost and there is prospect for the team,” Ezeji told news men.
“But in the case of this Gernot Rohr’s team, they are not playing very well and they are not winning; so, people will definitely complain. We have known our Super Eagles to have flair when playing, but that has not happened under him, whichever way he wins his game.
“There is no flair in their game, I think he is done with the team if you ask me because he is not showing anything, no class. We’ve got the players but I think what we lack is who co-ordinates them.”
Last year May, Rohr agreed on a two-and-half-year contract extension to remain as Super Eagles coach with the target of guiding the country to the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar and also win the 2022 Afcon.
Ezeji argued that the former Bordeaux manager has not been a success in Nigeria and he recalled how indigenous coaches Christian Chukwu also led the country to a third-place at 2004 Afcon before Stephen Keshi’s side triumphed at the 2013 edition in South Africa.
“I don’t know what his contract with the NFF looks like but personally, I don’t think he has achieved anything because even our indigenous coaches got to third at Afcon and we became the continent’s champions,” he continued.
“In his own case, third-place is not enough at all with the kind of personnel and abundant of talents we have in Nigeria presently, he should do better. As I stated earlier, it is not about winning the cup but it is about playing good football and there are ways you do that.
“Remember Imama’s [Amapakabo] U23 boys’ game against Libya in Asaba [U23 Afcon qualifier in March 2019], we needed three goals to go through but after the first-half, everybody was like even if they did not get through we are satisfied with their performance but the boys got the result and advanced.
“We need to start seeing that kind of performance in our Super Eagles, nobody has any confidence now that even if we play market women they will win. We need to have that confidence in our team and be rest assured of good football against any opponent.”
350 Golfers Set For IBB Golf Captain’s Tourney
No fewer than 350 golfers and 50 tennis players will be competing in the inaugural IBB Golf and Country Captain’s Tourney in Abuja.
The tourney which is expected to tee-off from Friday, June 10, to Saturday 11, 2021 at the IBB Golf and Country club which will see professional golfers battle in the Handicap 19 to 36 event while the amateur will clash in the Nest event.
According to the Chairman Organising Committee of the 2021 Inaugural IBB golf Captain’s club, Olabanjo Obaleye said preparations are in top gear to host a successful tournament.
He also noted that the golfers and officials would be in adherence to all the COVID-19 protocol towards ensuring the safety of all Stakeholders.
“This tournament is to usher in the new Executive Members of the IBB golf and Country, which is done after every new executive Member is elected.
“We have gotten some sponsors for the tournament and I can tell you that they would be mouthwatering prizes for the winner and consolation prizes for best loser.
We will also have a dinner on Saturday where the prizes will be presented to the winners.
“Also we have put some modalities in place to ensure the safety of all players and Officials for the tournament.” Olabanjo said.
HiFL: UNIBEN Royals Tackle UNICAL Malabites
Pace Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited, the organisers of the Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL), has released the draws for the round of 16 games at an event held in Lagos. The games are scheduled to be held between June and September 2021.
In Week 1, AAUA Luminaries will play OAU Giants in Ondo, FUTA Tigers will tackle UNILAG Marines in Akure, LAUTECH Hunters will attempt to hunt down the FUTMINNA Transformers in Ogbomoso while KSU Steelers engages UNILORIN Warriors.
For the week 2 games, Uniben Royals will play defending champion UNICAL Malabites, IAUE Minders will tackle UNN Lions in Port Harcourt, ABU Nobles will confront UAM Tillers in Zaria while BUK Stallions slugs it out with UNIMAID Desert Warriors in Kano.
Speaking at the draws, Director, PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited, Sola Fijabi acknowledged the efforts of all participating schools and encouraged them to maintain their sportsmanlike conduct as the games go on. “We are now at a very exciting stage of the league. What was witnessed during the qualifiers was the tip of the iceberg. The schools are ready and what we assure lovers of collegiate sports is double excitement. We appreciate the support of NUGA and our sponsors Nivea Men and Minimie for their trust in HiFL and as we deliver value to all our stakeholders,” Fijabi said.
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