Saturday, June 10, 2023

NPFL Round-Up: Sunshine, Enyimba secure spots in Super 6 play off; Nasarawa, Dakkada relegated

The regular season of NPFL ended on Sunday with many interesting results across several stadiums.

• May 21, 2023
Sunshine v Dakkada
Sunshine v Dakkada

Group A teams Bendel Insurance, Remo Stars and Enyimba will join Rivers United, Lobi Stars and Sunshine Stars to play in the Super 6 tournament of 2022/23 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL).

The championship is scheduled for Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos in June.

The regular season of NPFL ended on Sunday with many interesting results across several stadiums.

On Sunday evening, Enyimba and Sunshine Stars picked the last Super 6 tickets in the respective groups.

Eight-time winners Enyimba played out a goalless draw against Shooting Stars to finish third in Group A while Sunshine Stars thrashed already-relegated Dakkada 3-0 to clinch Group B last spot.

A 2-0 home win for Abia Warriors at the Umuahia Township Stadium against league-debutants Doma United, who were occupying the third position in the group, allowed the Owena Whales to leapfrog the Gombe State-based club to the last playoff spot.

Meanwhile, Abia Warriors finished fourth in the group allowing them to clinch the last ticket for the Dozy Mmobuosi Foundation NPFL preseason tournament which will be played by the top eight ranking teams from this concluded season.

The top four teams from each group automatically advance to the competition.

In contrast to jubilations at the top table of each group, the likes of El Kanemi and Nasarawa from Group A and Dakkada and Wikki Tourists had a campaign they would want to forget in earnest as all the four teams were relegated to the second tier division of Nigeria football, Nigeria National League.

A surprising 2-0 away win for Wikki Tourists against Lobi Stars could not save Bauchi state-owned club from dropping down as they finished ninth in Group B with only 19 points. They were only ahead of Dakkada United (13) who finished last in the group.

Barely one year after gaining promotion to the top flight division, El Kanemi have returned back to where they initially came from and only managed to hit a double digit point tally (10) thanks to the four-goal thriller draw against Plateau United.

They will be joined by Nasarawa United, who finished ninth with 14 points, in the second division as the two relegated teams from Group A.

Other results from final matchday fixtures, Bendel Insurance finished the regular NPFL without losing any game and matched the 18 matches unbeaten run that was first set by Akwa United during their title-winning 2020-21 season – the Benin Arsenal finished top of Group A with 34 points.

Remo Stars rounded up their second with an emphatic 4-0 home win over Kwara United to finish second in Group A while Bayelsa United defeat Niger Tornadoes 2-0 as Akwa United picked up a 1-0 away win over Gombe United but narrowly lost the Super 6 ticket to Enyimba on goal difference.

Full results from the season’s final matchday;

Abia warriors 2-0 Doma United

Bayelsa Utd 2-0 Niger Tornadoes

El Kanemi Warriors 2-2 Plateau United

Enugu Rangers 1-1 Rivers United

Gombe Utd 0-1 Akwa United

Lobi stars 0-2 Wikki Tourists

Remo stars 4-0 Kwara United

Shooting stars 0-0 Enyimba

Sunshine stars 3-0 Dakkada FC

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