Bendel Insurance, Remo Stars to jostle for last ticket
Shooting Stars, Gombe United and Niger Tornadoes have sealed their return to the Nigeria Professional Football League after they achieved the feat yesterday at the end of the Group matches of the NNL Super 8 playoffs.
Shooting Stars who last played in the NPFL in the 2016-17 season booked their place with a 6-0 annihilation of Ekiti United at the University of Enugu Campus, Enugu with Gafar Olafimihan’s among the goal scorers with two goals.
It was a turtuous road back to the top flight after they were stopped at the playoffs in 2018 and 2019 in Aba and Asaba respectively.
The Oluyole Warriors started the playoffs with a 2-1 win over Bendel Insurance before a 1-1 draw with Remo Stars. They moved to the top of the group with seven points from three games with a plus seven goals difference to put themselves in pole position to qualify for the final of the Super 8 playoffs after the 6-0 defeat of Ekiti United.
After recording 4 points each in the first two matches, Niger Tornadoes and Gombe United faced each other at the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus (UNEC) in the final group game and it ended in a goalless draw. Both teams qualified with five points each. It would be a return to the elite class after two years of hibernation in the lower league for both teams.
Rivals, El Kanemi Warriors defeated DMD 3-0 in the other group A game with Ibrahim Mustapha scoring the three goals but it counted for nothing as the draw between Gombe United and Tornadoes handed the promotion tickets to both of them as they finished a point ahead of the Borno Army with five points each.