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NPFL: Three hot topics from the weekend's action

The Nigeria Professional Football League is inching closer to its conclusion, and as this weekend's action proved, the drama shows no sign of easing off

Efosa Eguakun scored a dramatic late goal for Rivers United, Akwa United's short unbeaten run came to an end in Lagos and Mfon Udoh's late charge for the Golden Boot continued in earnest.

Here are the highlights for the weekend's action.

Itodo's throw-ins fuel Plateau United's title hopes

Plateau United are looking more and more like champions, and Daniel Itodo is playing a big part in that title challenge.

The defender's long throws have been a near unstoppable weapon for the title chasers, with their precision and power creating numerous scoring chances for the Jos club.

He produced two such assists in United's 5-1 destruction of Gombe United on Sunday to take his tally to two assists in the last four matches.

To put that in perspective, Plateau have scored eight goals in those four matches to sustain their five-point lead at the top of the table.

If or when Plateau claim the title, they will have Itodo to thank more than most.

Eguakun returns with a bang Some 10 years ago, then- junior International Efosa Eguakun was touted as one of the next big things to come out of Nigeria.

His superb dribbling skills, close control at pace and low centre of gravity made him as slippery as an eel in one-v-one situations.

However, a move to Sudan following Dolphins' CAF Confederation Cup final appearance didn't quite work out as planned, and he's been a journeyman since.

The forward slipped back quietly to Port Harcourt to join Rivers United, and on Sunday, reminded everyone of the talent with which he once held the city spellbound.

It was fitting that it was his spectacular effort, with virtually the last kick of the game, that settled a close encounter in Rivers' favour.

That goal could well be the difference between United staying up and being relegated, and the relief on the final whistle was palpable, as players, coaches, fans and even some pressmen poured onto the pitch in celebration.

That goal could well be the difference between staying up and relegation, and the win keeps United one place above the relegation places, but more importantly, gives them a three-point cushion over the bottom four.

Efosa may not be a spring chicken anymore, but he looks like he's still got it.

Mfon Udoh creeps up on Odey Enyimba claimed a 2-1 win over Abia Warriors in the Abia State Derby thanks to two goals from captain Mfon Udoh.

The striker holds the record for the most goals scored in a single Nigeria Professional Football League season with 23, but has seen his form dip in recent years.

He now appears to be overcoming his poor start to the campaign, and is just four goals away from top scorer Stephen Odey, for whom the goals appear to have dried up...at least for now.

What will please Udoh even more is how high this result has pushed United. They climbed four places to now lie third on the log, seven points behind leaders Plateau.

On their current form, it will be a brave person indeed who rules Enyimba out.

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