By James Agberebi:
MFM FC made sure the race for the 2017 Nigeria Professhgional Football League title will be decided on the final day of the season with their 2-0 win against Nasarawa United in matchday 37 on Sunday, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Needing an outright win to close the gap on leaders Plateau United, MFM scored two first half goals courtesy Stanley Okorom and Tchato Giscard in the 13th and 44th minute respectively to secure the important win.
The win sees MFM, still in second position, go to 62 points, just one point behind leaders Plateau United in the league table.
In Bauchi, Plateau United’s hope of clinching a first ever league title suffered a setback as they were pipped 1-0 by Wikki Tourist.
Chinedu Onyelonu’s 62nd minute goal for Wikki Tourist made the difference between both teams.
Despite the loss, Plateau are still on top with 63 points while Wikki who are on 50 points are still in the relegation zone, in 17th position.
In the Oriental derby in Enugu, Enyimba’s quest to pick a CAF Champions League ticket was quelled, following a 1-1 draw with Rangers.
Ikechukwu Ibenegbu put Enyimba 1-0 up after converting a 22nd penalty.
But with three minutes left, Rangers were also awarded a penalty which Chibuzor Madu dispatched.
Enyimba now have 58 points meaning they have qualified for the CAF Confederation Cup for next season.
In Ibadan, Shooting Stars earned a hard-fought 1-0 win against 10-man Akwa United to improve their chances of being relegated.
After being frustrated for large part of the game, Shooting Stars eventually found the breakthrough as Seun Akinyemi scored from the penalty spot with nine minutes left to secure the three points.
Before Shooting Stars’ goals, Akwa’s Gabriel Okechukwu was shown a straight red card.
In spite of the win, Shooting Stars are still in 16th spot on 50 points just one point above the drop going into the final day of the season.
On their part Akwa look certain to feature in the CAF Confederation Cup as they have 57 points.
And in Kano, Kano Pillars defeated El-Kanemi Warriors 2-0 thanks to goals from Junior Lokosa and Jamil Mohammed in the 18th and 45th minute.
Rabiu Ali however missed a 39th penalty for Kano Pillars.
With the win, Pillars move up to fifth spot on 54 points, three points behind Akwa United and will need a wide goal margin on the final day to usurp Akwa who currently occupy the final Confederation Cup spot.
In other results, Gombe United were confirmed for relegation after they lost 3-0 away to Rivers United, already relegated Remo lost 3-0 away to Katsina United, ABS who are still battling relegation edged Abia Warriors 2-1, Lobi beat Niger Tornadoes 1-0 with Anthony Okpotu scoring for Lobi thereby tying with MFM’s Stephen Odey on 18 goals while Sunshine Stars thrashed IfeanyiUbah 4-0.
NPFL matchday 37 results:
Rangers 1 vs 1 Enyimba
Wikki Tourist 1 vs 0 Plateau United
MFM 2 vs 0 Nasarawa United
3SC 1 vs 0 Akwa United
Kano Pillars 2 vs 0 El-Kanemi Warriors
Katsina United 3 vs 0 Remo Stars
Rivers United 3 vs 0 Gombe United
ABS 2 vs 1 Abia United
Lobi Stars 1 vs 0 Niger Tornadoes
Sunshine Stars 4 vs 0 IfeanyiUbah