Three NPFL Talking Points

Abdual Fatawu Dauda of Ghana during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals. BackpagePix

Death, taxes and Junior Lokosa breaking a mini-drought. Kano Pillars' near unstoppable hitman found himself caged last weekend, but returned with a vengeance this week.

In Aba, Fatau Dauda was restored to the Enyimba line-up and 'rewarded' his coach by getting sent off for violent conduct.

Those two and other juicy bits from last weekend in the Nigeria Professional Football League ...


Last weekend, flaming hot league leading scorer Junior Lokosa saw himself smothered by Lobi Stars as the league leaders ran away 1-0 winners. So disappointing was the striker that he had to be substituted, a rarity.

But only one matchday later, he was making amends. Lokosa hit goals number 15 and 16 of the campaign to help Pillars claim a 2-0 win against bottom side Heartland.

While the strikes may have compounded the misery of the Owerri-based Naze Millionaires, they put Lokosa in a good position to challenge a recently-set league record.

Enyimba striker Mfon Udoh holds the league scoring record which stands at 23 goals from 2014. Last season, it seemed like MFM FC's Kingsley Odey was on course to equal or even break it, until he first saw his goals dry up in the second half of the season, and then headed off to Europe.

That is not the case for Lokosa, who is looking just as blazing hot in the second half of the league as he was in the first. He is now just six goals away from Udoh's record and, if he keeps this up, could not only equal the record, but actually shatter it. My money is on the Pillars man.

Solomon Ogbeide, who used to coach Sunshine Stars, returned to a familiar ground and was so confident in the strength of his squad that he left his side's top scorer Samad Kadiri on the bench against his former charges.

Despite benching his most potent weapon for an entire half, the table toppers still kept their hosts at bay for nearly the entirety of the game, and even created plenty of opportunities to win the game. But Kadiri, who also used to be employed by Sunshine, was not to be denied and found the net with a few minutes to play.

Lobi were almost running away with the road win and thought they had it, especially after seeing Sikiru Alimi's spot-kick saved by Olufemi Kayode. It was not to be, however, as Jide Fatokun struck deep into injury-time to help Sunshine Stars scrape with a 1-1 draw.

Lobi stay top of the table, but their lead is now down two points to four.

Nigeria's World Cup-bound goalkeeper Ikechuwku Ezenwa returned from injury last week to post a Man of the Match performance for Enyimba.

In what appears to be rotational goalkeeping, Fatau Dauda was restored to the starting line-up, and proceeded to splash egg all over the face of his coach, picking up an unnecessary red card for violent conduct in their home game against Akwa United.

Dauda was spared more embarrassment when Akwa United failed to take advantage to claim all three points, with the game played just an hour away from their own home ground at Enyimba's temporary home of Calabar.

Defender Ifeanyi Anaemena admits that it could have been worse: "The match plan got spoilt when we got the red card. Everything changed in the match plan but we were able to come out with a draw and we thank God for it," he told npfl.ng.