Bendel Insurance, Kwara United, El Kanemi relegated
The final day of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) saw arguably the country’s best clubs qualifying for the season-ending Super Six play-off.
Former champions, Lobi Stars and Enyimba joined the already-qualified Enugu Rangers, Kano Pillars, Akwa United, and FC IfeanyiUbah in the Super Six play-off, which will decide the winner of the 2018/2019 season.
Rangers won Group A, while Lobi Stars and Enyimba finished in the second and third positions respectively. Akwa United lead the qualified teams from Group B with Kano Pillars and FC IfeanyiUbah second and third respectively.
Enyimba, who lost 1-2 to Katsina United yesterday, thought they were out of the Super Six race until they learnt that nearest rivals, MFM lost 2-4 to Sunshine Stars in Akure.
At the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, Martins Usule and Tasiu Lawal scored for Katsina United, while Chinedu Udechukwu got Enyimba’s only goal of the game.
Sunshine Stars’ Dare Ojo and Anthony Omaka scored twice each to save the Akure side from the drop, while Abiodun Alade and Chijoke Akuneto were the goal scorers for MFM.
Bendel Insurance returned to the NNL after losing 1-0 to Rivers United at the Sharks Stadium, Port Harcourt with Konan Ruffin’s 13th minute goal separating the two sides.
Kwara United were also relegated despite a 1-0 away win at Niger Tornadoes in Minna. Afeez Nasir scored the only goal of the game.
In NPFL Group B, Chijioke Alakwe and Christian Nnaji scored for FC IfeanyiUbah as they beat leaders, Akwa United 2-1 in Nnewi. Ocheme Edoh got the Uyo team’s lone goal.
Two goals by Chukwudi Nwaogu and Uche Oguchi secured Heartland’s NPFL status and ensured El Kanemi Warriors were relegated to the NNL.
In other games, Nasarawa United got a 2-1 away victory at Yobe Desert Stars, while Abia Warriors beat Kano Pillars 3-0 in Umuahia with goals by Tunde Abdulsalami, Samson Obi and Emeka Isaac team.
In a game featuring two already relegated teams, Gombe United beat Go Round 1-0 in Omoku with Adamu Mohammed the goal scorer, but Delta Force and Plateau United escaped relegation after battling to a goalless draw in Asaba