Red-hot Junior Lokosa inspires Kano Pillars to big midweek win
Junior Lokosa netted a brace in Kano Pillars' biggest win of the season as they defeated FC Ifeanyi Ubah 4-0, while Lobi Stars and Kwara United earned impressive away draws at both ends of the Nigeria Professional Football League table.
Lokosa netted his 13th and 14th league goals of the season as Sai Masu Gida moved up one place on matchday 15.
The result somewhat flatters Pillars, with the visitors holding out for over an hour before conceding four goals in the final 30 minutes.
Lokosa opened the scoring from the spot on the hour mark after a handball, and then doubled the lead five minutes later to continue his magnificent start to the campaign.
Alassan Ibrahim assisted Nyima Nwagua for the third goal in the 85th minute, before Awalu Ali completed the rout at the death as Pillars moved up to second.
Elsewhere, league leaders Lobi Stars ground out a 1-1 draw at Abia Warriors despite playing the final 40 minutes with 10 men after Chinda Kaka was dismissed for two bookings.
Ndifreke Effiong continued his impressive season in front of goal to give the Warriors a first-minute lead, but Lobi were undeterred and pulled levelled when veteran defender Umar Zango fired home a free kick in the 68th minute free kick.
The win ensures they maintain a three-point lead over Pillars.
Ajani Ibrahim rolled back the years at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium as Enugu Rangers demolished Yobe Desert Stars 3-0.
The experienced frontman netted in the 24th and 44th minutes, and was only denied a hat-trick in the first half by Akor Itodo's outstanding save.
Ibrahim turned provider for Bright Silas to complete a routine home win in the closing minutes, securing fourth for the Flying Antelopes, while Yobe Stars dropped out of the top half.
The new boys' early-season momentum has stalled, and they are only three points above the dreaded relegation zone.
Bottom club Kwara United displayed guts in their relegation fight by earning an impressive 2-2 away draw at Sunshine Stars in Akure, making it a fifth point in the last three games for the Harmony Boys.
Stephen Alfred put Kwara ahead in the 24th minute, but two wonderful free kicks in either half from Sunday Emmanuel temporarily shifted the tie in Sunshine's favour.
Sunday Chinedu's 72nd-minute headed goal earned United a point much to the disappointment of the struggling Stars, as the visitors remain two points from safety.
Najeem Olukokun's first-half brace secured a 2-1 home result for Nasarawa United against Katsina United as they secured a much-needed breather from the drop zone.
Despite Abdulbasit Shittu's own goal, Olukokun emerged the match hero for the home team.
Finally, second-half strikes from Emeka Ogbuh and Roland Koffi handed mid-table Rivers United a 2-0 home win against Heartland.
The loss was a fourth in five games for the Soccer Scientists, the third of the promoted teams to end the matchday in the bottom four.