NNL SUPER 8 PLAYOFF
Two of Nigeria’s football teams with strong fan bases, Bendel Insurance FC of Benin and Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan will rekindle their rivalry today in the last game of the ongoing NNL Super 8 Playoff in Aba.
The Edo Arsenal with maximum six points from the two wins against Delta Force and Remo Stars needs just a draw or slim defeat to return to the topflight NPFL.
However, Shooting Stars who crashed 0-3 against Remo Stars on match-day one and secured their 2-1 victory against Delta Force, have now found themselves at the mercy of Insurance in their bid to pick the second ticket of the southern conference to the NPFL.
But instead of gifting the Oluyole Warriors a smooth sail, Insurance FC and their legions of followers have promised it is pay back time for Shooting.
The Chairman of the Edo Sports Commission, Godwin Dudu-Orumen, yesterday declared ‘total war’ on Shooting Stars on Tuesday and has vowed that his boys will do everything possible to pick the maximum three points against 3SC in today’s game.
“We won’t joke with that game, it is a match we want to win, to prove a point. The rivalry between the two teams started far back as 1971. It used to be between Vipers Fc and WNDC, before it metamorphosed into that between Shooting Stars and Bendel Insurance.
“Our special player, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Hon Phillip Shaibu, will play in this match. We are going to take every minute of that match very serious. We have advantage over Shooting Stars as we played a draw in their home and defeated them in Benin in the second stanza of the regular season. For those who expect an accord match, they will be disappointed as there won’t be anything like that,” Dudu Orumen stressed yesterday.
Insurance now top the group with six points and four goals. Remo Stars remain in second position after beating Shooting Stars 3 -0 while the Ibadan soccer outfit is third with Delta Force emerging as the weeping team.
In other games today, Remo Stars have the opportunity of subduing weaklings Delta Force to return to the NPFL. A win would see them through ahead of 3SC, which can only gain promotion if they defeat Insurance by more than two goals.
In the Northern Conference, the coast seems clear for Kada Stars and Gombe United to gain promotion, as the two teams have four points each against Real Stars and Kogi United’s one point.
On Monday, Gombe United defeated Real Stars 1-0, while Kada Stars beat Kogi United 3-0. Gombe United and Kada City will qualify for the NPFL if their match today ends in a draw.