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NPFL: Alukwu denies Heartland as Sporting Lagos hold Naze Millionaires to 1-1 draw

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Heartland of Owerri were 11 minutes away from a famous win at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos, yesterday, until Jonathan Alukwu struck at the dead to earn Sporting Lagos a 1-1 draw.

Nobody gave the Naze Millionaires any hope of coming out of Onikan unscathed due to their indifferent form in the nine-week-old season. But the former champions, coached by ex-international, Christian Obi, came into the game brimming with confidence and determination to win their first away game of the season.

After a goalless first half, they got the lead and what many thought was the winning goal in the 76th minute through Chinedu Brandon. They held on to the lead throughout the 90 minutes, but just when they were dusting their bags for a job well executed, Alukwu popped up with the equalizer in the 111 minute to spoil their party.

In other matches, Akwa United defeated Remo Stars 3-2 in a five-goal thriller, while Rivers United beat Abia Warriors 2-1. League leaders, Lobi Stars, fell 0-1 to defending champions, Enyimba, in Aba, Enugu Rangers were held to a goalless draw by Katsina United, 3SC of Ibadan beat Kano Pillars, 1-0, while Bayelsa United and Sunshine Stars settled for a 1-1 draw in Yenagoa, just as Gombe United defeated Niger Tornadoes 1-0.

Earlier on Saturday, Bendel Insurance were held to a 2-2 draw by Kwara United, while Doma United continued their giant-killing form with a 1-0 win over Plateau United.

With the win, Doma United dethroned Lobi Stars as league leaders on goals difference, although both have the same 17 points.

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