After a promising start to the 2016/17 Nigeria Women Premier League season over a week ago, it would have been sheer pessimism to expect anything less from Matchday two as the Aisha Falode-led board continues in their quest to make the league very attractive.
For what it’s worth, reigning champions Rivers Angels had their first taste of the new season at the Uyo Township Stadium where they were held to a pulsating 1-1 draw as guests to their South-South neighbours Ibom Angels.
It was not surprising that by the 90th minute, the Jewel of Rivers were cruising away with what could have been the first away victory of the current campaign courtesy of an Alice Ogebe 75th minute header. But they were halted in extra time by former Rivers Angels forward Charity Reuben, who was a second half substitute for Ibom Angels in the game. She calmly slotted home a 93rd minute penalty to snatch a point for the hosts and save the blushes of her coach, Whyte Ogbonda who used to be an assistant to Coach Edwin Okon at Rivers Angels.
Meanwhile Coach of the visitors, Okon, was given his marching orders in the latter stages of the heated encounter after he stormed into the field of play to protest the penalty call that led to Ibom Angels’ equalizer.
Elsewhere, the first ever Women’s Oriental derby lit up the Umuahia Township Stadium with hosts Abia Angels making light work of debutants Heartland Queens of Owerri to the delight of wife of the Abia State deputy Governor, Lady Vivian Ude Okochukwu who watched on from the VIP stand.
Former Super Falcons striker Ifeanyi Chiejine scored a penalty 11 minutes into the match before she was replaced by Vivian Ikechukwu in the 25th minute. Ikechukwu failed to convert her numerous chances but Taiwo Akinyinka eventually got the hosts’ second goal on the 85th minute.
First Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Seyi Akinwunmi was present at the Legacy Pitch of the National Stadium, Lagos when a rebranded FC Robo Queens – inspired by loud cheers from an appreciable crowd – defeated Bayelsa Queens by a lone goal scored by former COD United Ladies striker, Monday Gift.
As we move over to group B, it is noteworthy that Special Guest of Honour is becoming a special feature in the new NWPL season. On Matchday one, it was the First Lady of Ondo State Betty Akeredolu, who made her presence felt at the Akure Township Stadium in the opening match of the season between Sunshine Queens and Ibom Angels. Already mentioned above is the wife of the Deputy Governor of Abia State.
Meanwhile the Deputy Governor of Osun State, Otunba Titi Laoye Tomori graced the Osogbo City Stadium and watched Osun Babes do the needful against Pelican Stars.
The Omoluabi babes’ highest goal scorer from last season, Anthony Esther opened the scoring in the 42nd minute before returnee striker Edewor Precious added a second in the 65th minute to put their Calabar-based visitors to the sword.
Benin witnessed yet another exciting encounter between Edo Queens and Delta Queens. The match however ended in a goalless draw as both teams picked up their second points of the season considering they had opened their campaign with scoreless draws in their respective Matchday one fixtures.
Then in Lokoja, Bashirat Amoo’s 69th minute goal handed Confluence Queens their first win of the season against Nasarawa Amazons.