234football NPFL Team of Matchday 34: brace scorers Matthias, Akanni, Nwankwo named alongside hat-trick hero Ohanu
By Akila Matawal
Impressive individual performances headlined matchweek 34, with a number of defenders and midfielders on target for their respective clubs and Michael Ohanu netting a hat-trick to hand Kwara United a 3-1 victory against Wikki Tourists.
Akwa United took advantage of fellow top-five teams dropping points as they brushed aside Warri Wolves to extend their lead at the summit to six points.
The biggest win of the matchweek came through in Uyo, where Dakkada FC condemned bottom side Adamawa United to a 4-0 defeat — a result that confirmed the Yola outfit’s relegation to the Nigeria National League. Austin Osayande opened the scoring with a cheeky finish and Sunday Awasa netted his first goal of the season to give the Uyo side a 2-0 lead at the break. Substitute Jesam Uket made it 3-0 with a close-range strike before Emmanuel Etim set up fellow substitute Rio Ayemewenre to score a fourth, which put the game beyond the visitors.
Here, 234football selects its NPFL Team of the Week for matchweek 34. The team is presented in a 4-3-3 line-up.
Goalkeeper: Daouda Kassaly (Katsina United)
Daouda Kassaly was outstanding as Katsina United forced a 0-0 draw at relegation-threatened Sunshine Stars.
Right-back: Unwana Asuquo (Dakkada)
Dakkada’s vice captain Unwana Asuquo again showed why he is a modern right-back with an assist for Sunday Awasa in their 4-0 thumping of Adamawa United. The defender was brilliant all evening.
Left-back: Bakary Bamba (Rivers United)
Rivers United left-back Bakary Bamba has been in blistering form lately. He scored as the Pride of Rivers lost 2-1 to Jigawa Golden Stars, three days after scoring a stunning goal to bring his side level against Akwa United in Port Harcourt.
Centre-back: Buhari Ibrahim (Plateau United)
Buhari Ibrahim has been brilliant for Plateau United all season. He netted his second goal of the campaign in his side’s 3-1 defeat at MFM.
Centre-back: Nabil Yarou (Enyimba)
It took a late header from Nabil Yarou for Enyimba to snatch a point at Ifeanyi Ubah. The Benin international has been one of Enyimba’s top performers this season.
Midfielder: Samuel Matthias (Lobi Stars)
Lobi Stars midfielder Samuel Matthias twice got his team back into the game in their thrilling 3-2 win over Nasarawa United.
A free-kick and a delightful finish from the edge of the box capped off a fine evening for the ex Pillars, El Kanemi and Akwa United midfielder.
Midfielder: Austine Osayande (Dakkada)
Austine Osayande got a goal and provided an assist for Rivio Ayemwenre in Dakkada’s 4-0 win against Adamawa United.
Midfielder: Eso Archibong (Enugu Rangers)
Ex-Dakkada midfielder Eso Archibong doubled Enugu Rangers’ lead in their 2-0 triumph over Kano Pillars – a result that kept their continental football hopes alive.
Right Winger: Elijah Akanni (MFM FC)
A brace by Elijah Akanni helped MFM FC to a 3-1 win over Plateau United in Lagos.
Centre Forward: Michael Ohanu (Kwara United)
Kwara United enjoyed a 3-1 win over Wikki Tourists in Illorin and Michael Ohanu got all three goals for the Harmony Boys.
Left Winger: Silas Nwankwo (Nasarawa United)
Nwankwo scored twice at Lobi Stars to take his tally to five goals in his last four games and 16 for the season, as Lobi Stars twice came from behind to earn a 3-2 win.
Coach: Danlami Umar
Dakkada gaffer Danlami Umar manages the Team of the Week after leading his side to a commanding win against Adamawa United. Two of his substitutes were on target, while another provided an assist.