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Enyimba, Kwara United run away with final continental spots as Sunshine Stars completes miraculous escape

Warri Wolves, Jigawa Golden Stars suffer relegation to NNL

Enyimba extended their record of winning the most away games in the 2020/21 NPFL season as they secured a place in next season’s CAF Champions League with a 3-1 victory away from home against Dakkada FC at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo. Mesmerizing winger Anayo Iwuala opened the scoring as he poked home from a corner to set the tone for the game in the 11th minute. The People’s Elephant was up for the tie as Samad Kadiri doubled their lead on the 25-minute mark after a brilliant solo run. Musa Bashiru pulled one back for the home side in the 29th minute before Iwuala scored in the 78th minute to secure a priceless three points for the visitors to take them up to second place on the log.

Kwara United made the most of their home advantage and thrashed visiting Katsina United 3-0 at the Kwara State Sports Complex. Ayobami Junior opened the scoring for the Afonja Warriors in the first half before second half goals from Michael Ohanu and Stephen Jude saw the match end three-nil to the home side. Kwara United were able to leapfrog Kano Pillars and Nasarawa United and finish in third place thanks to their win at home against the Changi Boys.

Sunshine Stars completed an incredible turnaround with a brilliantly orchestrated 1-0 win against Rivers United at the Ondo State Sports Complex that keeps them in the NPFL and ends the continental aspirations of Rivers United. Towering centre back Ejike Uzoechi stepped up in the 5th minute to send a header flying past the Rivers United goalkeeper before returning to his post and denying the visitors a single goal in the game.

Abia Warriors secured their NPFL status in trademark fashion with a 3-1 victory over Nasarawa United at the Okigwe Township Stadium. Obioma Chukwuemeka opened the scoring for the Umuahia Landlords after just 7 minutes, before Daniel Wotlai added a second on the stroke of halftime. Fatai Abdullahi added a third from the spot in the 91st minute before emotions got the better of Nasarawa United man Chigozie Obasi, and he was sent off for dissent in the aftermath of the goal. NPFL goal king Silas Nwankwo headed home a late consolation goal in the 94th minute for his 19th league goal. The result means that Nasarawa United has fallen out of the continental places in the league on the last day of the season.

Heartland showed their grit to pick up a 1-0 win at home to Kano Pillars on the last day of the season thanks to a 16th minute strike from Kelechi Chimezie. The Naze Millionaires confirmed their NPFL status and put an end to the continental aspiration of Kano Pillars with their win at home.

Wikki Tourists were a class above Adamawa United at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in their NPFL Matchday 38 encounter as they ran out 2-0 winners over the already-relegated side to prevent their own relegation to the NNL. Hassan Musa opened the scoring in the 21st minute for the home side before a delicate chip from the returning Nazifi Yahaya in the 39th minute sealed the result for Wikki, taking them up to 45 points at the end of the last match of the season.

MFM FC handed Jigawa Golden Stars a one-way ticket to the NNL with a 2-0 win at the Soccer Temple in Agege. Second half goals from Oladayo Alabi in the 58th minute and Chimezie Izuchukwu in the 77th were enough for the Olukoya Boys to pick up a deserved victory in front of their fans, ending the season on a high. Jigawa Golden Stars will play in the second tier of Nigerian football next season after their defeat.

FC Ifeanyi Ubah successfully dragged down Warri Wolves with them after they secured a 1-0 win over the Seasiders at the Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium in Nnewi. Eric Oguocha scored the match-winner in the 20th minute for the Anambra Warriors, who will be joined in next season’s NNL by Warri Wolves.

Lobi Stars ended their season by inflicting a fifth defeat of the season upon champions Akwa United, winning 2-1 at the Aper Aku Stadium. Chino so Okonkwo opened the scoring for the home side before Charles Atshimene scored his 19th goal of the season from the spot to draw the champions level. Austin Ogunye scored a penalty of his own in the 45th minute to secure the win for Lobi Stars.

Rangers defeated Plateau United 2-0 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu. Issif Traore opened the scoring with a bullet header in the first half before Ibrahim Olawoyin added a second for the home side in the second half.

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