By Adeboye Amosu:
Photo by Ganiyu Yusuf (MFM vs Niger Tornadoes):
Enugu Rangers started the defence of their Nigeria Professional Football League title on a shaky note, losing 2-1 against South-East rivals Abia Warriors at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium, reports Complete sports Nigeria.com
New arrival Fortune Omoniwari gave Rangers the lead in the 10th minute following a beautiful cross by left-back Chidiebere Okoli.
The visitors battled back and equalised 12 minutes later through Emeka Isaac.
Godwin Zaki converted a penalty 18 minutes from time to hand Okey Emordi’s side the win.
At the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt, Rivers United beat El-Kanemi Warriors 2-1
Ivorian forward Guy Kuemian scored the opening goal, stabbing the ball home in the 26th minute after he was teed up Lukman Mohammed.
The Pride of Rivers netted the second goal a minute before time.
Bello Kofarmata however ensured a nervy end to the game when he pulled a goal back for the visitors in the 91st minute.
Former champions Enyimba also started the season on a winning note, securing a narrow 1-0 victory against Sunshine Stars at their adopted home ground, the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar.
Ibrahim Mustapha scored the decisive goal for the Peoples Elephant a minute before the half hour mark.
MFM FC also got off their campaign to flying start by thrashing Niger Tornadoes 3-0 at ‘Soccer Temple’ Agege Stadium courtesy of strikes by Sikiru Olatunbosun, Stephen Odey and Adegboyega Adekunle.
There was also joy for fans of Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan as their team handed visiting Lobi Stars a 2-0 defeat.
Afolabi Waheed put the hosts ahead on 22 minutes, while substitute Sunday Faleye scored with his first touch in the 66th minute.
In another match-day one fixture, ABS extended their unbeaten record against Akwa United to four, edging out the Promise Keepers 3-1 at the Kwara Stadium Complex.
The home side got off to a perfect start with Mohammed Mohammed handing them the lead in the 12th minute.
Godspower Igudia however equalised for the away side seven minutes later.
Stone Evbuomwan and Abubakar Chindo struck in the 30th and 65th minutes to hand the newcomers victory in the tie.
In the battle of the NPFL new boys, Katsina United defeated Gombe United 2-1 at the Muhammad Dikko Stadium, Katsina.
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Katsina United went ahead early in the game courtesy of a fine strike by Tasiu Lawal, while Mannir Ubale levelled scores on 14 minutes.
Suleiman Ibrahim fired home the winner for Bala Nikyu’s men seven minutes before the break.
Northern rivals, Wikki Tourists and Nasarawa United, played out a barren in Bauchi.
The hosts dominated the game but failed to find the winner.
Debutants Remo Stars lost 2-1 at home to Plateau United.
Matchday- one results
Enugu Rangers 1 V 2 Abia Warriors
Rivers United 2 V 1 El-Kanemi
MFM FC. 3 V 0 Niger Tornadoes
Katsina United. 2 V 1 Gombe United
Shooting Stars. 2. V O Lobi Stars
ABS FC. 3. V 1 Akwa United
Wikki Tourists. 0 V 0 Nasarawa United
Remo Stars. 1. V 2 Plateau United
Enyimba 1 V Sunshine Stars 0