Kwara United, MFM football club of Lagos, FC Ifeanyi Ubah, Nasarawa United and Jigawa Golden Stars recorded vital victories on the opening day of the new 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.
League football in Nigeria has been paused since March 18th due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Action finally resumed yesterday (Sunday) with clubs adhering to strict COVID-19 safety guidelines enforced by the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) which was a requirement for the return of league football.
A major talking point from the opening day fixture was Kwara United’s stunning 2-0 victory over former league champions Plateau United in Jos.
Jide Fatokun scored the opener for the visitors in the 67th minute and five minutes later, former MFM forward, Michael Ohanu added to the woes of the hosts with a fine header.
The defeat adds to the problems of coach Abdul Maikaba’s team that recently crashed out of the CAF Confederations Cup preliminary round, losing 1-0 to Simba FC of Tanzania at home in Jos and playing a goalless draw Dar es Salaam.
In Nnewi, a 47th-minute strike from Nonso Uzodiegwu ensured Ifeanyi Ubah FC secured maximum points in a competitive match against Lobi Stars of Makurdi.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah coach, Uche Okagbue praised his players for starting the campaign with a win while coach Kabiru Dogo said his team lost because they failed to convert the chances they created.
In Lagos, MFM FC beat Warri Wolves 2-1 with all goals scored in the first half.
Ebenezer Odeyemi gave the hosts the lead as early as the 8th minute, Muyiwa Balogun doubled it in the 23rd minute while John-Paul Chinedu scored the only goal for the visitors in the 27th minute.
In Lafia, Promise Damala of Wikki Tourists scored the first goal of the new season in Wikki’s 2-1 loss to Nasarawa United.
Damala’s goal came in the 5th minute but a brace by Reuben Nicodemus in the 7th and 52nd minute ensured the home team keep the three points.
At the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano, Jigawa Golden Stars clinched an important 1-0 win over Sunshine Stars while Adamawa United and Kano Pillars played 1-1 at the Pantami Stadium in Gombe.
Action will return on Monday with the Uyo derby between Akwa United and Dakkada FC while Katsina United will host Heartland FC of Owerri at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium.