Debutants Remo Stars became the first team to be relegated from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) this season after losing 3-1 at home to Rivers United yesterday in Sagamu.
Elsewhere, leaders Plateau United extended their lead at the top following a goal win over MFM of Lagos in a top-of-the table clash in Jos.
With four matches left to be played, Fatai Osho’s Remo Stars are aware that that a defeat in Sagamu will return them to the Nigeria National League after just a season in the elite division and they were unable to avoid that fate as they got demoted.
Goals from Bernard Ovoke, Emeka Ogbugh and Esosa Igbinoba were all Stanley Eguma’s men needed to subdue the hosts who got their consolation strike through Oche Salefu.
The journey back to the lower division started at the beginning of the season – which led to the sack of coach Nduka Ugbade. They boast of just seven wins out of 34 games, losing 19 and playing eight draws.
Before existing the elite division, Remo Stars still has consolatory matches against Wikki Tourists, Enugu Rangers, Katsina United and Sunshine Stars in their remaining games of the season.
Yesterday’s result on the other hand has helped Rivers United’s fight against relegation as they are now placed 14th on the log with 45 points from 34 games, as opposed to their hosts who lead from behind and have a miserly 29 points from the same number of games.
In other matches played yesterday, Katsina United handed Wikki Tourists a 2-0 defeat at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium.
Chinedu Udechukwu scored a sixth minute penalty to give the Chanji Boys the lead while Destiny Ashadi was on hand to convert a pass from Stephen Adah as the hosts went into the break with a two-goal lead.
Katsina United is 12th on the log with 46 points from 34 games while Wikki Tourists are placed 16th with two points less.
Enyimba FC continued their resurgence as they handed ABS a 3-0 defeat at the U.J Eusene Stadium in Calabar to strengthen their bid for a continental spot.
Stanley Dimgba put the People’s Elephant in front after he cushioned in a free-kick from Ikechukwu Ibenegbu just after the quarter hour mark.
Eric Frimpong doubled the lead for Gbenga Ogunbote’s men with a header, off another Ibenegbu free kick, in the dying moments of the first half.
After the restart, Ibrahim Mustapha made it three nil to the hosts after benefitting from a Stephen Chukwude assist.
Enyimba is unshaken from the fourth position while ABS dropped to 17th on the log.
In Gombe, Kano Pillars suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of relegation strugglers, Gombe United.
Ibrahim Abdullahi’s long-range free kick in the 51st minute handed the Savannah Scorpions victory over Sai Masu Gida.
Despite the win, Gombe United are still 19th in the log while their visitors dropped to the seventh position.
Abia Warriors secured a 2-0 victory over Shooting Stars at the Umuahia Township Stadium. Ndifreke Effiong squeezed in the opener for Abdullahi Biffo’s men in the 13th minute.
And three minutes before the break, Alaba Osawe turned Effiong’s cross into his net to gift the Warriors a 2-0 lead into half time.
The score ended that way with the Oluyole Warriors’ bid to escape relegation handed a blow.
The result sees Abia Warriors move two places to the tenth position as they now have 47 points from 34 games while Shooting Stars dropped a massive three places to 17th in the log after taking 43 points from the same number of games.
A late goal from Buhari Jafar ensured Nasarawa United secured a victory over Lobi Stars in their Nigerian topflight encounter.
Jafar benefitted from a goal mouth scramble to help the Solid Miner claim all maximum points.
Nasarawa United are now sixth in the log while Lobi Stars dropped a place to 11th.
Continental hopeful, Akwa United defeated Niger Tornadoes to strengthen their aim of finishing the season in the top three.
Cyril Olisema grabbed the curtain raiser for Abdu Maikaba’s side – who are missing four of their key players on national duties – from the spot.
While the second goal came through Gabriel Okechukwu just before half time. Edem Akakatang put the game beyond the visitors with his strike in the second half.
Akwa United retain their third position and have closed the gap with second-placed MFM to two points, after the Lagos side suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of league leaders, Plateau United.
Visitors, Tornadoes dropped one place to eight position in the log.
At the Cathedral, Enugu Rangers secured a 1-0 win over Sunshine Stars when
Chibuzor Madu converted from the spot to give the Flying Antelopes a lead in the 26th minute.
Enugu Rangers moved two places to the 13th spot after garnering 46 points from 34 games while visiting Sunshine slipped four places to 15th in the log. And they have collected 45 points from the same number of games.
Plateau 1-0 MFM
Gombe 1-0 Pillars
Remo 1-3 Rivers
Enyimba 3-0 ABS
Akwa 3-0 Tornadoes
Rangers 1-0 Sunshine
Abia Warriors 2-0 3SC