234football NPFL Team of the Week: hat-trick of assists provider Ibrahim, hat-trick hero Obioma selected
By Akila Matawal
A hard-fought 1-0 victory in Illorin for Kwara United over Kano Pillars pushed Sai Masu Gida out of the top three for the first time in a while.
The result was made possible through Abdullahi Biffo’s superior tactics. Consequently, he gets our coach-of-the-week honours.
A 4-3-3 formation displays our top performers.
Goalkeeper: Dele Aiyenugba (Kwara United)
Legendary goalkeeper Dele Aiyenugba made some world-class saves as Kwara United got a vital 1-0 win over Kano Pillars.
Right Back: Unwana Asuquo (Dakkada FC)
Nasarawa United were looking to beat Dakkada in Uyo on Wednesday in order to increase their chances of securing Champions League football. Quite often, they elected to attack Danlami Umar’s team through the left side, but Unwana Asuquo did well to keep them at bay.
Left-back: Chinedu Ozor (Lobi Stars)
Chinedu Ozor contributed at both ends of the pitch against Enyimba. The full-back stopped a number of attacks and was involved in the build-up to Lobi Stars’ opener.
Centre-back: Olawale Doyeni (Dakkada FC)
With big man Kareem Abdoulaye left out of the squad through injury, Olawale Doyeni and his defence partners were expected to struggle against the physically imposing Nasarawa United side. However, that wasn’t the case. A number of times, he came up against league top scorer Silas Nwankwo. He managed to keep the striker — who was later substituted — quiet.
Centre-back: Samson Gbadebo (Akwa United)
Arguably the most under-rated centre-back in the league, Samson Gbadebo has been one of the most consistent players in the Akwa United squad this season. His composure, interceptions and blocks are some of the reasons the Promise Keepers have conceded just 20 goals in 36 matches this season.
Against Ifeanyi Ubah, Gbadebo made two goal-bound clearances as Akwa United earned a point to edge closer to winning the league for the first time in their history.
Midfielder: Hammed Yakub (Abia Warriors)
Hammed Yakub of Abia Warriors capped a fine individual display with a goal in Abia Warriors’ 5-1 humiliation of already-relegated Adamawa United.
Midfielder: Saleh Ibrahim (Wikki Tourists)
The Wikki Tourists midfielder provided three assists — the first player to do so this season — as the Giant Elephants beat Heartland FC 4-2.
Midfielder: Habibou Sofiane (Wikki Tourists)
Wikki midfielder Habibou Sofiane was instrumental in Giant Elephants’ 4-2 victory over Heartland. He got his name on the scorer’s sheet.
Right Winger: Chukwuemeka Obioma (Abia Warriors)
Chukwuemeka Obioma bagged a hat-trick as Abia Warriors pummeled Adamawa United 5-1.
Centre Forward: Elijah Ani (Enugu Rangers)
Off the bench, Elijah Ani scored the only goal as Rangers defeated Katsina United 1-0 to keep their slim continental football hopes alive.
Left Winger: Ubong Friday (Akwa United)
Ubong Friday scored a spectacular free-kick as Akwa United shared the spoils with Ifeanyi Ubah in Nnewi.