9ja FlavourNigerian Nationwide league One

NLO: Ibom Youths FC down P Sports to take promotion playoff ticket in Calabar center

Ibom Youths Football Club secured victory on Saturday, May 4, 2024, defeating P Sports Academy to clinch the sole promotion playoff ticket in the Calabar center of the 2023/2024 Nationwide League One (NLO) season.

P Sports entered the final-day fixture atop the standings, two points clear of second-placed Ibom Youths FC.

Coach Thankgod Ike, who guided the P Sports Academy team, had a clear task: secure at least a draw in the final game to claim the coveted playoff ticket for the Calabar center.

However, that was not to be, as the opposition claimed maximum points at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar, courtesy of a 76th-minute strike by Joshua Joseph, resulting in a 1-0 victory.

From the blast of the referee’s whistle, it was Ibom Youths FC who dominated proceedings, while P Sports were content to sit back and defend.

The first half failed to produce any goals, and both teams returned to the changing rooms level on scores, with P Sports clinging to their two-point lead at the top of the log.

Coach Emmanuel Ntuk, leading the former NNL side, rallied his team for the second half, continuously pressing for a goal. Eventually, their efforts paid off with a strike from their eight-goal striker, Joshua Joseph, in the final quarter of the game.

This goal, a powerful shot from inside the opposition penalty area, sparked wild celebrations from the bench and supporters, led by Akwa United FC Chairman, Elder Paul Bassey.

With this goal, the status quo changed, with the Akwa Ibom State government-owned Ibom Youths FC displacing their opponents on the standings, resulting in a 1-0 full-time score.

With the games complete in the Calabar Center of the 2023/2024 Nationwide League One, the top three spots were secured by Ibom Youths FC (23 points – 1st), P Sports Academy (22 points – 2nd), and Sir Monty FC (17 points – 3rd).

To secure a place in the Nigeria National League, the Calabar center winners, Ibom Youths FC, will face off against the winner of Umuahia in a one-game promotion playoff fixture at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, on May 27, 2024.

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