Lobi Stars underlined their Nigeria Professional Football League(NPFL) title credentials by edging a tightly contested encounter against 10-man Kano Pillars 1-0 at the Aper Aku Stadium on Sunday.
Ayo Saka scored the winning goal nine minutes from time, nodding home Ebube Duru’s cross.
Pillars were reduced to 10 men a minute before the hosts scored the winner with left-back Chris Madaki receiving the marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Solomon Ogbeide’s men now sit at the top of the standings with 33 points, six more than second-placed Katsina United who also beat El-Kanemi Warriors 1-0 at the Mohammadu Dikko Stadium.
Destiny Ashadi’s 53rd minute penalty gave the hosts maximum points in the game.
El-Kanemi Warriors’ Razak Aliyu was sent off three minutes from time.
At the Bako Kontagora Stadium in Minna, Niger Tornadoes extended their unbeaten streak to eight games by beating Niger Tornadoes 1-0.
Andrew Ikefe netted the winner in the last minute of added time.
In Uyo, Akwa United bounced back from their exit from the CAF Confederation Cup, edging out Sunshine Stars 2-1.
Ifeanyi Ifeanyi opened scoring for the home team from a free-kick three minutes from half time, while Franklyn Sasere restored parity for Sunshine Stars two minutes after the restart.
Victor Mbaoma scored the winner two minutes from time.
Nasarawa United put an end to Abia Warriors’ seven games unbeaten streak with a 1-0 win at the Lafia Township Stadium.
Shammasu Mohammed scored the decisive goal a minute before the half hour mark.
In another match day 18 encounter, Kwara United extended their unbeaten streak under new coach Abubakar Bala to five games after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Go Round in Ilorin.
Stephen Alfred put the hosts ahead in the 16th minute, his eighth goal of the campaign.
Azu Chile missed a penalty for Go Round in the 53rd minute but Chidi Nwachukwu ensured they picked their first away point by grabbing the equaliser 14 minutes from time.
Enyimba held Wikki Tourists to a 0-0 draw at the New Jos Stadium, improving their unbeaten run in all competitions to seven games.
The Oriental derby between hosts FC IfeanyiUbah and Enugu Rangers ended in a goalless draw.
MATCH DAY 18 RESULTS
Nasarawa Utd 1-0 Abia Warriors
Katsina Utd 1-0 El-Kanemi
Lobi 1-0 Kano Pillars
Akwa Utd 2-1 Sunshine Stars
Wikki 0-0 Enyimba
FCIU 0-0 Rangers
Kwara Utd 1-1 Go Round
Tornadoes 1-0 Yobe DS