Glo NPFL Match Day 11: Five things we learnt this week

At the weekend, there were high scoring wins in Owerri and Ibadan as Giwa FC returned to the top of the GLO Premier League.

But there are more hidden things to be unraveled after taking a second look.

1. Ogunbote is the man with the magic touch

                                                                                                                                            Gbenga Ogunbote, Shooting Stars' Coach

Shooting Stars spent the better part of the first ten matches in the league struggling to pick up points and scrambling to even get off the bottom of the league table. Scoring goals was hard. The defence was in pretty bad shape. And there seemed to be no coherence to their play.

And it was only a matter of time before Franklin Howard, the coach of the 20th-placed side, was dismissed.

In his place, the Oluyole Warriors turned to Gbenga Ogunbote, the affable chief coach of Sharks of Port Harcourt.

What do you know, in his first game in charge, 3SC flogged Lobi Stars 3-0 playing a beautiful brand of football that had longed gone missing in Ibadan. Before the gaffer’s arrival, the Ibadan giants had only managed six goals in nine matches, now they are scoring three in one.

With his magical winning touch, Ogunbote has lifted Shooting Stars to 13th on the log with a game in hand. It really is looking up for the Premier League newcomers.

2. Giwa FC are title contenders

The Jos giants only climbed to the top of the league after round seven of matches but have shown enough flair and grit to stay up and around the best sides in the league.

Giwa FC may not boast the incredible home support of Kano Pillars or the millions of Enyimba but they have displayed more class than those two former champions this season. The Aba Elephants have lost two games already, the defending champions have been beaten five times, yet the little fancied Giwa FC have only tasted defeat once in eleven games so far.

And if they can maintain such form, the GLO NPFL trophy may be heading to Jos this year.

3. Heartland’s scoring potential is unrivaled
                                                                                                                                           Heartland FC Players

The Owerri lords are the goal scoring kings of the GLO Premier League.

In Bright Ejike (who has five goals to his name), Ebere Odiche, and Jimoh Oni, Heartland FC have some of the league’s brightest attacking talents.

With seventeen goals scored, Heartland currently in 5th, have netted almost thrice as many goals as Lobi Stars who are leading the league table from the rear.

In Match Day 3, the Naze Millionaires got their biggest home win in four years against Nasarawa FC after they whitewashed the Solid Miners 5-2 in Owerri.

Last weekend, they also humiliated Bayelsa United 4-1 to continue their scoring form.
There are noticeable problems in the defence though as they have also conceded nearly as much as they have scored.

4. Lobi and Sharks are the draw specialists

Lobi Stars and Sharks FC both share the bottom spots of the League for one reason: they have drawn the games they should have won.

Last weekend, Sharks were forced to a draw by Port Harcourt rival, Dolphins after leading the encounter at a point and were just six minutes away from sealing a memorable victory.

It was the Blue Angel’s sixth game drawn in eleven matches. It is little wonder then that the Port Harcourt giants are struggling in relegation waters.

Lobi Stars are the only other side with just one win and six draws in the league and their 0-3 loss in Ibadan at the weekend indicates that there trouble is not nearing an end soon.

5. Enugu Rangers have the leakiest defence 

Abia Warriors, Taraba FC, Sharks FC and Bayelsa United have all conceded 14 goals in 11 games.

That’s more than a goal shipped per game. It’s no surprise then that aside Abia Warriors, all the other sides are in the bottom half of the league.

Yet Rangers International fare worse. They have allowed 15 goals after Week 11 and have kept clean sheets in only three of those matches, against some of the league’s lowest scoring teams.

The Enugu lords shamefully occupy 16th spot in the league and will likely descend lower if their leaky defence is not sooner shored up.