Kwara United players were made to labour hard to record a slim 2-1 victory over visiting Heartland FC of Owerri on Sunday at the State Stadium Complex, Ilorin.
The hosts’ defender, Deji Bamidele, scored a thunderous goal from 30 yards in the 57th minute of play, while Alao Danbani scored his seventh goal of the season in the 69th minute.
The result means Kwara United moved one place on the log from the 5th to the 4th position.
Speaking after the match, Kwara United’s Head Coach, Abdullahi Biffo, said it was a tough game and he was happy to have recorded his first win over Heartland since he took charge of the team.
The coach said he instructed his players not to look at the position of Heartland on the log, but go all out to get all the three points.
Biffo maintained that if Heartland had played the way they did in the first half, it would have been difficult for his side to get all three points.
In Uyo, Enugu Rangers crushed host Akwa United 3-0 in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) week 18 match played at the Godswill Akpabio stadium in Uyo.
After a barren first half, Samuel Pam opened the scoring for Rangers in the 55th minute, Chidiebere Nwobodo doubled the lead in the 70th minute before substitute Shedrack Asiegbu put the icing on the cake with the third goal in the 90th minute.
In Makurdi, troubled Lobi Stars also suffered a home defeat as they were beaten 2-1 by the Imama Amapakabo tutored Abia Warriors.
Valentine Odoh scored the opener for Abia Warriors in the 54th minute, two minutes later, Solomon Kwambe equalised for Lobi Stars but Odoh grabbed his brace six minutes from regulation time to ensure Lobi Stars recorded back-to-back home losses.
Elsewhere, Rivers United forced Gombe United to a 0-0 in Gombe to ensure they restored their one point lead at the top of the table.
Before yesterday’s match, second placed Plateau United had equalled Rivers United 38 points after forcing Enyimba to a 1-1 draw in Aba on Saturday.
At the Lafia township stadium, Nasarawa United fought back from an early setback to draw 1-1 with MFM, Sunshine Stars also fought back to beat Dakkada 2-1 at home just as Katsina United beat 10-man Wikki Tourists 1-0 in Katsina.
The last week 16 match between 3SC and Kano Pillars under floodlight in Ibadan ended 1-0 in favour of the hosts.