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Tricky finale as NPFL Championship Playoffs ends




It is a deserving end to the six-club competition which, in spite of its abridged nature from the beginning in January, is climaxing with three matches crucial to the available rewards.

Three matches daily over four match days since June 4 have shown that the Super Six competition can always be an exciting prospect.

With 36 goals scored during eight wins and four draws in 12 matches, Wednesday’s three matches offer hopes of more exciting moments.

The day’s first match at 3 p.m. will see Rangers International Football Club of Enugu needing to beat FC IfeanyiUbah of Nnewi to finish among the top three.

Rangers who won the Group A of the abridged regular season and are presently fourth need the full points to leapfrog now third-placed Akwa United FC of Uyo.

FC IfeanyiUbah are already out of contention for any of the three tickets to play on the continent next season, but they will not just lie in wait to be crushed.

However, going by the statistics, Rangers look capable of beating them, even by the slimmest of margins, in spite of their Eastern Nigeria rivalry.

But the question is whether beating FC IfeanyiUbah will be enough to earn Rangers a CAF Confederation Cup competition ticket, given that Akwa United can still upstage them with a win.

The Uyo side will take on Enyimba International FC of Aba from 5 p.m. and a win will keep them within the top three bracket for a return to the continent.

They, apart from having won Group B of the abridged regular season, are unbeaten so far at the playoffs just like Kano Pillars.

However, Enyimba will need just a draw to be in line for a CAF Champions League ticket, and they can seek a win to be able to claim the season’s title.

Lobi Stars FC of Makurdi and Kano Pillars meet from 7 p.m. to round up proceedings at the playoffs, with the latter needing a draw to win a continental competition slot.

However, as it is presently, the three continental competition tickets are between the trio of Enyimba, Kano Pillars and Rangers, with Akwa United having an outside chance of an upset.

Nonetheless, Match Day 5 fixtures hold so much and they undoubtedly provide a fitting end to the playoffs.


Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts

Enyimba 4 3 0 1 7 4 +3 9

Kano Pillars 4 2 2 0 7 4 +3 8

Akwa United 4 1 3 0 7 6 +1 6

Rangers 4 1 2 1 6 6 0 5

Lobi Stars 4 1 1 2 5 6 -1 4

FC IfeanyiUbah 4 0 0 4 4 10 -6 0

FC IfeanyiUbah vs Rangers International ——- 3 p.m.

Enyimba International vs Akwa United ——- 5 p.m.

Lobi Stars vs Kano Pillars ——- 7 p.m.


(Edited by Olawale Alabi)