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By Fisayo Dairo

A 13-minute hattrick by Akwa United's Elisha Aniefiok Jonah was the opening day highlight at the Nigeria Professional Football League Under-15 Promises tournament at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri on Monday.

Owerri, one of the two centres playing hosts to the best of Under-15 talents across NPFL clubs this week is also having former African champions, Enyimba, FC Ifeanyiubah, Rivers United and Abia Warriors as the other teams that will showcase their budding talents for five consecutive days.

It was Akwa United that blazed the trail on Monday when they outclassed Abia Warriors 5-0 in the centre's opening match. The only team that had its club chairman in attendance on opening day, the young guns from Uyo - who were buoyed by Paul Bassey's quick return from Kano, venue of the senior team's historic away win on Sunday - dominated play from start to finish.

It took Elisha Jonah just four minutes to invite some deserved attention to himself when he struck Warriors' crossbar with a dipping volley from 20 yards. His team went ahead though on 16 minutes through Uwana Akpan's deflected effort before Archibong Archibong's free kick went all the way into the net.

Jonah owned the second half and scored the first of his treble on 56 minutes before adding another with a finish from the outside of his boot six minutes later. He completed his hattrick from the penalty spot in the 69th minute after Warriors' Bobson Samuel handled inside the box.

After the game, hattrick hero Jonah told www.npfl.ng he hopes to break into the Akwa United senior team in the next four years.

"I thank God for my performance because it is the first time I will score a hattrick in a tournament like this," begun Jonah.

"I always watch the senior team when I have (the) chance and I believe I can play for them in the next four years," added the youngster whose role model in the Akwa United team is Ubong Friday.

In Owerri's other game on Monday, two first half goals from captain Samuel Salau and striker Adam Azeez lifted FC Ifeanyiubah to a 2-0 win over Enyimba.

Salau scored on 17 minutes when the Enyimba defence failed to clear their lines before Azeez finished off a pass from Babatunde Bello in the 30th minute to seal victory for his side.

Coach of the losing side, Chidozie Agu attributed his team's loss to his players' inability to quickly settle into the game.

"Of course you know they are kids and they are just experiencing this for the first time," he said.

"You see they came back better in the second half but it was a little late. I am sure they will do well in their next game," added Agu.

In Tuesday's action, Rivers United will face Abia Warriors at 2pm before the marauding teens from Uyo, Akwa United face Enyimba at 4pm.

NPFL CLUB NEWS

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    Created Date: 22 October 2017Hist: 664
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    Sunshine Stars, Tornadoes take lead into Aiteo Cup return leg

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    By George Akpayen It will be an all Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) semi-finals in the Aiteo Cup as four sides holders FC Ifeanyiubah, Akwa United, Niger Tornadoes and Sunshine Stars take part in first leg games on Saturday. FC Ifeanyiubah will play on the road in the first leg at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja against Niger Tornadoes who are aiming for a second Cup title while Sunshine Stars also looking to win their first major silverware in the country play hosts to 2015...
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    Tornadoes striker Agba close to signing 'life contract'

    Created Date: 27 September 2017Hist: 756
    By George Akpayen Niger Tornadoes striker Samuel Agba will this Saturday be joined in holy matrimony with his heartthrob Faith Anastasia in Kaduna. Agba who was born and bred in the city of Kaduna explained that he believes that this is the right time “to settle down” and “tie the knot.” He also revealed that he met his fiancee just when he began his professional career while still with Jigawa Golden Stars.
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    LMC urges CHAN Eagles to build on gains of WAFU experience

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    Players and officials of the Super Eagles squad to the just ended West African Football Union (WAFU) Cup of Nations in Ghana has received commendation from the League Management Company (LMC) which urged them to build on the lessons learnt from the sub-continental championship for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN). The players were drawn from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) organized by the LMC.
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    FC Ifeanyiubah, Sunshine Stars reach Aiteo Cup semis

    Created Date: 23 September 2017Hist: 1254
    By George Akpayen Aiteo Cup holders FC Ifeanyiubah and Sunshine Stars have booked their places in the last four of the competition after victories in Saturday's quarter-final games. FC Ifeanyiubah showed that their three-goal advantage from the first meeting of the last eight against ABS FC who have been relegated from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) was no fluke. This time playing at the Kwara stadium in Ilorin, home of ABS, the Anambra Warriors claimed a 1-0 win to make it...
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  • WAFU Cup Final: Ghana, Nigeria in duel of regional giants

    Created Date: 23 September 2017Hist: 737
    By Mitchell Obi Only a fingerful of duels can match this any day and anytime. Instant flow of adrenaline from the players and the fans. Call it the dream contest...Ghana versus Nigeria part two. This is the game that the continent wants to watch even if it is a regional final. Tinged with revenge and wrapped with the eternal rivalry of two soccer powers this Sunday's final promises a tide and how it will flow depends on the wind of confidence bellowing in either team.
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    Rabiu Ali stars as Nigeria reach Wafu Cup final

    Created Date: 21 September 2017Hist: 611
    By George Akpayen Kano Pillars playmaker Rabiu Ali scored the winner for Nigeria as they edged Benin Republic 1-0 in the first semifinals of the 2017 Wafu Cup of Nations at the Cape Coast Stadium in Ghana on Thursday. The Nigerians took the lead in the 11th minute of the contest through Ali after Anthony Okpotu played him through on goal.
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NPFL MATCHDAY 38

NPFL League Table

# Team MP PTS
1 Plateau 38 66
2 MFM 38 62
3 Enyimba 38 61
4 Akwa FC 38 60
5 Nasarawa 38 56
6 El-Kanemi 38 56
7 Lobi Stars 38 54
8 Kano Pillars 38 54
9 IfeanyiUbah 38 54
10 Sunshine 38 54

Photo Gallery : Football Action

NPFL Frame Work & Rules 2016/2017