By Akila Matawal
Mid-week action in the Nigeria Professional Football League produced no away victories as home teams enjoyed a clean sweep save for MFM and Jigawa Golden Stars, who both dropped points at home. Nonetheless, impressive performances were witnessed across various centres – some of whom combine to form our Team of the Week in a 4-3-3 formation.
Akwa United, FC Ifeanyi Ubah and Rivers United lead the way with two players apiece.
Vincent Edafe (Abia Warriors)
Vincent Edafe was again in goal for Abia Warriors in their goalless draw at MFM FC, and got a clean sheet for his side.
Eric Oguocha (FC Ifeanyi Ubah)
FC Ifeanyi Ubah got what was arguably their biggest win of the season over Kwara United in Nnewi, and Eric Oguocha was outstanding and pivotal in their 2-1 triumph.
Ebube Duru (Lobi Stars)
Lobi Stars’ Ebube Duru has been one of the most consistent left-backs in the current campaign. Aside his astute defensive abilities, he got into attack and provided the assist for Ossy Martins in the Pride of Benue’s 1-0 win over Enugu Rangers.
Buhari Ibrahim (Plateau United)
Over the last week’s, Plateau United defender Buhari Ibrahim has improved dramatically. Against Katsina United, he got a goal to help the Peace Boys beat Katsina United 2-0 in Jos.
Uzoechi Ejike (Sunshine Stars)
Sunshine Stars have been in troubled waters since January. Their match day 26 tie against Dakkada FC brought to an end their 18-match winless run – thanks to Uzoechi Ejike’s 44th-minute header. He surely was a hero for his team.
Morice Chukwu (Rivers United)
Since his switch from Akwa United to Rivers United, Morice Chukwu has started every game and has been a focal point of the midfield of the Pride of Rivers. He again showed why he is rated as one of the best defensive midfielders in the country, as he nullified Rabiu Ali and co to help Rivers United beat Kano Pillars 2-0 in Portharcourt.
Ekene Awazie (FC Ifeanyi Ubah)
Versatile and prolific: those two words adequately describe FC Ifeanyi Ubah’s talisman Ekene Awazie. He led the Anambra Warriors to a 2-1 win over Kwara United with a double.
Silas Nwankwo (Nasarawa United)
On eight goals before Nasarawa United battled Warri Wolves at the Lafia City Stadium on Wednesday, Silas Nwankwo shone like a million stars as he bagged a brace to help the Solid Miners humble Warri Wolves 3-1.
Ubong Friday (Akwa United)
Captain on the day, Ubong Friday led by example as he scored a long-range volley and provided an assist in Akwa United’s 3-1 thumping of Heartland FC on Thursday at the Nest of Champions.
Sunday Adetunji (Rivers United)
Plateau United outcast Sunday Adetunji has made Rivers United home since joining them. On Wednesday in Portharcourt, the lanky forward scored a beauty and was a constant threat to Kano Pillars’s defense as Rivers United enjoyed a 2-0 victory.
Charles Atshimene (Akwa United)
Charles Atshimene has been on fire for Akwa United in recent weeks. Following the departure of Ndifreke Effiong to Libyan club Ahli Benghazi, there were fears Kennedy Boboye’s side would struggle in front of goal. However, the former Warri Wolves man has help his side remain in the title race with six goals in his last six games. He again proved his mettle on Thursday as he scored twice to take his season tally to nine in Akwa United’s 3-1 win over Heartland FC.
Coach of the Week:
Kennedy Boboye (Akwa United)
With Heartland pressing hard and giving Akwa United problems, Kennedy Boboye effected changes that put Akwa United in total control of Heartland on Thursday. Marshal Johnson and Etim Matthew both came off the bench to stabilize Akwa United’s game. His tactics were spot on as his team returned to the top of the log.
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