NPFL21 TOTW: Niccodemus and Odeyemi make week 1 NPFL best players

    Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) made an emphatic return to the lives of soccer fanatics and reminded each and every one of us why we have missed it so much.

    Kano Pillars kicked things off with a disappointing draw away to  Adamawa United, only to have their spirits lifted when Plateau United were shocked by Kwara United who left the Jos Stadium with all three points.

    The biggest game of the round saw Enyimba defeat Abia Warriors, while Rangers were beaten by the continually impressive Rivers United. Akwa United and Dakkada drew goalless.

    Heartland proved they still have some progress to make as they were edged 3-2 by Katsina United, while Warri Wolves can take pride from their performance against MFM FC, despite eventually falling to a 2-1 defeat.
    Elsewhere, FC Ifeanyi Ubah saw off a stubborn Lobi Stars side, while Jigawa Golden Stars overcame Sunshine Stars 1-0.

    Our Team of the Week will see a 4-3-3 formation deployed.

    Olorunleke Ojo – Abia Warriors

    The shot-stopper was in fine form and made numerous saves as Abia Warriors faced Enyimba. He was faultless in the only goal scored by the People’s Elephants.

    Mustapha Jibrin – Kano Pillars

    Jibrin can feel aggrieved that his side failed to win against Adamawa United. He was phenomenal on the night, shutting down attack after attack and made a number of vital blocks.

    Abiodun Adebayo – Enyimba

    Adebayo was dominant as ever when called into action and kept Abia Warriors at arms length for the most part.

    Christopher Nwaeze – Kwara United

    The Nigeria youth international did the job of many men at the Jos Stadium as he went toe-to-toe with the Plateau United strikers, as well as cleaning up the mess left by his defensive partners time and time again. He was by far the standout performer in the Kwara United back line.

    Reuben Nicodemus – Nasarawa United

    The full-back powered forward on several occasions, while not forgetting his defensive duties. He netted a brace for the Solid Miners.

    Jide Fatokun – Kwara United

    The former Sunshine Stars midfielder will look back on this game with great emotions, as he opened scoring on his debut for Kwara United. 

    Godwin Aguda – Rivers United

    The ex Rangers star completely controlled the game in typical fashion as the Rivers United saw off the Flying Antelopes. In possession, he was composed and rarely put a foot wrong despite constantly being under pressure. Without the ball, he put in a number of strong tackles which set the tempo and tone for his teammates to follow. He also provided the match winning assist for Fortune Omoniwari.

    Boubacar Masally – Katsina United

    Consistently used his pace and strength to give the Heartland defenders problems and he capitalised on this with a double. 

    Ebenezer Odeyemi – MFM FC

    The former Enyimba man opened his MFM FC diary with a goal against Warri Wolves. Odeyemi was completely unplayable at the Soccer Temple. What a debut!

    Samad Kadiri – Enyimba

    Kadiri’s appearance in this team as a forward is based purely on his wonderful performance against Abia Warriors in the Abia Derby. The former Sunshine Stars and Bayelsa United forward menaced the Warriors back line. He grabbed the decisive goal from the penalty spot to steal all three points for his side.

    Kabir Balogun – Kwara United

    The ex Ikorodu United forward no doubt made a lasting first impression on the Kwara United supporters as he tormented Plateau United defenders and provided a sweet assist.


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