Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) sides Rivers United and Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) will seek to put life back into their race for survival as both teams set the tone for Matchday 26 in their second meeting this Saturday.

Both clubs start the matchday in worrying positions. Rivers United are just a place above the bottom-four while 3SC are third from bottom.

On February 5, 2017 Rivers United played probably their worst game in the NPFL this season and the opposition on the day was 3SC.

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Lobi Stars forward Kingsley Eduwo and FC Ifeanyiubah's Ghanaian head coach Yaw Preko have been named League Bloggers Awards (LBA) Player and Manager respectively for the month of May.

Eduwo and Preko posted superior performances with their clubs in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in the month under review to fend off other contenders in the running for both categories of awards.

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•NPFL players, officials to wear black armbands
•To observe one minute silence

Players and match officials of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) are to turn out with black arm bands to honour a former coach of prominent NPFL clubs, Kelechi Emeteole who passed on in the early hours of Wednesday.

Emeteole, nicknamed ‘Caterpillar’ in his playing days for various league clubs in the country died in India where he underwent surgery for throat cancer.

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By Fisayo Dairo

Thousands of locals had thronged the compact Umuahia Township Stadium to catch a glimpse of the surprise team in the Nigeria Professional Football League this season, leaders Plateau United.

Sadly but more curiously for them, the team steadily turning out to be our very own 'Leicester City' (the term coined from the English side's unbelievable conquest of English football in 2016) are coached by Kennedy Boboye, a man who left Abia Warriors after 29 games in charge last season in rather unpleasant circumstances. While some really wanted to see what stuff Plateau United are made of, some desperately wanted Boboye to be taught a footballing lesson, on the pitch.

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FC Ifeanyiubah’s Ivorian import, Pascal Seka got the highest votes of 338 to emerge the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Match Day 23 VAT Wonder Goal award winner.

Seka ran neck and neck with Lobi Stars’ Anthony Okpotu in the votes on the twitter handle picking 73 votes to Okpotu’s 71 of the 198 votes cast by fans leaving El-Kanemi Warriors’ Aghahowa Otakho with the remaining 54 votes.

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By Clement Nwankpa Jr

Matchday 25 saw eight home victories and two draws with 19 goals scored. Here are 10 things we learnt as the season approaches the home stretch.

(1) ODEY CHASES UDOH'S RECORD
MFM's Stephen Odey scored his 15th goal of the season in the 1-3 loss to Pillars to remain eight goals shy of Mfon Udoh's all-time record of goals scored in a season. A combination of national assignments and fitness issues have contrived as he recorded a goal drought in recent weeks. But has he lost grounds on catching up with or eclipsing Udoh's record? Time will tell.

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By Fred Edoreh

Akin Olowookere, the caretaker coach of Sunshine Stars of Akure heaped praises on his players after they looked to have found their rhythm again to register a 2-1 win over visiting Gombe United in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Matchday 25 encounter at the Otunba Dipo Dina International Stadium, Ijebu-Ode, on Sunday evening.

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By Ademola Olajire

FC Ifeanyiubah faithful could not believe their beloved ‘Anambra Warriors’ had failed to bag the three points against Wikki Tourists as referee Habibu Ghali blew the final whistle in Nnewi on Sunday. The match ended 0-0.

The Matchday 25 encounter produced a number of thrilling moments, but there was no goal, and in truth, the Giant Elephant, as Wikki are nicknamed, had their moments and could have ran away with their first away win of the season.

FC Ifeanyiubah stalwarts Godwin Obaje, Seka Pascal, Tamen Medrano and King Osanga cracked a few brilliant moments in the first period, but were unable to get past the visitors’ goalkeeper Emeka Nwabulu, buoyed by the rear–guard of Harrison Madu, Ahmed Abdullahi, Peter Ambrose and Festus Umanah.

In the 8th minute, the crowd at the FC Ifeanyiubah Stadium rose to salute what they expected to be the opener as Seka Pascal, Osanga and Medrano combined to rattle the defence of Wikki, but the final ball by Medrano sailed harmlessly over the sticks.

In the 20th minute, Obaje rocked the side of the net from a Seka Pascal pass, and eight minutes before half time, Pascal waltzed his way into the Wikki Tourists box only to shoot wide.

Nwabulu was in imperious form, making one notable save after another as the home boys swarmed around the Bauchi Elephant.

Impatient home fans gingered their boys psychologically to go for the kill as they came out for the second period, and two minutes after the restart, Obaje came close only to see Abdullahi Musa intervene to keep scoreline goalless.

Nwabulu continued his remarkable evening, and despite their best efforts, FC Ifeanyiubah could not get the ball in the net, not even with Prince Aggreh and Ifeanyi Onuigbo coming in for Osanga and Obaje.

Understandably, the Tourists celebrated their first away point of the season.

POST MATCH

Bala Nikyu (Head Coach, Wikki Tourists): "I want to praise my boys for this result. I told them before the match that it would be a bad outcome if we left Bauchi to play two matches and we lost both. So, we came out with a plan to get something out of this match. FC Ifeanyiubah is a good team; you can recall that they recently defeated a team 3-0 away. They are a team that can use the ball very well, but we came with a plan to get something and we were fortunate to do just that."

Harrison Madu (Man of the Match): "I am very happy with this result because this is our very first away point in the League this season. We have not been able to get any point on the road, and I am so excited because we have done it right here, in my home State (Anambra State). In truth, when we were leaving Bauchi, our objective was to get six points from the rescheduled match against Akwa United (in Uyo) and this match. Unfortunately, we lost in Uyo. This result will motivate us to perform much better in our remaining away games, and we would even be prepared to go for victory in most of those matches."

Man Of The Match: Harrison Madu (Wikki Tourists)

Stats
FC Ifeanyiubah 0-0 Wikki Tourists
Shots on target: 2-4
Shots off target: 1-3
Free kicks: 5-5
Corner kicks: 7-7
Throw-ins: 14-7
Offside: 2-3
Yellow Cards: 1-2

Bookings: Felix Osia 34’ (FC Ifeanyiubah) - Victor Alegbe 39’, Ismail Bagayan 48’ (Wikki Tourists)

By Fisayo Dairo

Plateau United coach Kennedy Boboye's return to Umuahia ended in a painful defeat after Shedrack Asiegbu scored twice, including a stoppage time winner to give Abia Warriors a 2-1 win over the league leaders on Sunday.

Asiegbu gave the hosts an early lead through a brilliantly executed left-footed volley from 25 yards. The visitors equalized against the run of play ten minutes from time through Hamzat Owolabi's deflected effort but Asiegbu ensured Boboye and his wards go home empty handed by converting a penalty deep into stoppage time.

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By Sanipe Damiete

A brilliant performance and two quick goals in the opening 14 minutes was all it took Akwa United to beat hard fighting Katsina United in a keenly contested Matchday 25 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) fixture at the Godswill Akpabio International stadium, Uyo on Sunday.

The Promise Keepers started like a house on fire pegging their opponents to their half, dictating the pace of the game and creating half chances but could not fire a shot at goal in the opening moments. The first attempt at goal however came from the spot in the seventh minute when Ubong Friday pounced on a loose ball and was through on goal but was brought down in the box before he could shoot. A minute later, Alhassan Ibrahim converted the resultant spot kick to give Akwa a deserved lead.

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