Leaders Rangers  Crash in Ibadan, Ikorodu City, Beyond Limit Gain Promotion to NPFL

Femi Solaja

League leaders, Enugu Rangers, were on the losing side yesterday evening as old rivals, Shooting Stars of Ibadan, picked the maximum points right in front of their home crowd.

Dumte Christian Pyagbara’s header in the 12th minute earned the Oluyole Warriors three points and consolidated their quest for continental football next season.

In the other matches, defending champion, Enyimba of Aba dropped to third position following a disappointing 1-1 scoreline with visiting Bayelsa United.

Alade Balogun puts the home side in front in the 20th minute but relegation threatening Bayelsa side restores parity in the 35th minute through EkesonOkorie.

The result pushed Enyimba to the third position following Remo Stars’ comprehensive 4-1 win against Heartland of Owerri at the Remo Stars Stadium in Ikenne.

Kwara United won 2-0 at home against Kano Pillars while Niger Tornadoes won 3-2 against Lobi stars and Plateau United compounded Sporting Lagos’ relegation battle with a 2-1 win away in Lagos.

While Bendel Insurance were 2-1 better against Rivers United at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin, Akwa United enjoyed a 3-1 win over Katsina United and Abia Warriors won 3-1 away at Gombe United.

Meanwhile, Ikorodu City FC of Lagos and Beyond Limit FC of Ikenne have secured promotion into the elite division at the ongoing Play-off tournament in Enugu.

They are joined by Nasarawa United and El-Kanemi Warriors.

The four teams secured promotion to the NPFL from the Nigeria National League (NNL) play-offs in Enugu. Nasarawa United and El-Kanemi Warriors are returning to the top division.

The teams clinched the top two spots in the Northern and Southern Conferences of the NNL.

In the Northern Conference, Nasarawa United of Lafia beat Sporting Supreme 2-1, finishing first with nine points while El-Kanemi Warriors defeated Sokoto United 4-1 to take second place with six points.

Both Nasarawa United and El-Kanemi Warriors were relegated from the NPFL last year after finishing bottom of the league’s Group A but they have bounced back impressively at the first time of asking.

In the Southern Conference, Beyond Limits topped the group with seven points after a 1-0 win over Inter Lagos. Ikorodu City beat Madiba FC 2-0, securing the second promotion spot with five points.

Beyond Limits, Football Academy etched its name in the history books after becoming the first African team to win the prestigious Viareggio Cup in Italy.

Each team in the playoffs played three matches, with the top two teams from each conference earning promotion to the NPFL.

Ikorodu City were pestablished just two years ago, and Beyond Limits will be playing in the NPFL for the first time.


Shooting 1-0 Rangers

Akwa Utd 3-1 Katsina 

Insurance 2-1 Rivers Utd

Enyimba 1-1 Bayelsa

Gombe 1-3 Abia War

Kwara 2-0 K’Pillars 

Tornadoes 3-2 Lobi

Remo  4-1 Heartland 

Sporting 1-2 Plateau

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