Heartland FC of Owerri confirmed their promotion back to the top flight of Nigerian league football, Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) courtesy of an impressive away win at First Bank in Lagos.
Okoro Ndukwe’s 36th minute belter was all the Scientific Boys required to secure maximum victory and a swift return back to the NPFL after just a season in the second division.
WE'VE BEEN PROMOTED!!! 💪
Just one year away and #HeartlandIsBack to the #NPFL pic.twitter.com/jzbQAqh7uh
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— Heartland FC (@HeartlandFC_ng) October 11, 2017
With Heartland’s status sorted, the final promotion slot will go down the wire after a dramatic twist in the penultimate round of matches on Wednesday.
Go Round FC who had hung on to second place since the start of th second stanza of the league were knocked off by Bayelsa United after the Omoku-based side lost 1-2 at Nnewi United while United beat Papilo FC at home.
Playing at the Rojenny Stadium in Oba, Nnewi United went in front in the first half but Go Round leveled early in the second half through Ekunta Etenfa. The Felix Obua-owned Go Round could only hold on till the final three minutes of the game when Nnewi struck to give themselves real hopes of avoiding relegation.
Bayelsa United did not find it easy as well at home to Papilo FC but Gabriel Adeboye’s 15th minute strike was able to earn them full marks against Kanu Nwankwo’s pet club. The turn of events mean Bayelsa United overtake Go Round by a point to go into second place and require victory in their final league game at Osun United on Saturday to confirm return to the top flight.
Go Round meanwhile must beat virtually relegated First Bank at home same day and pray that Osun United do no favours for Bayelsa United.
In other Nigeria National League results on Wednesday, Warri Wolves secured their NNL status for another season with a 1-0 win away to Gateway FC. Michael Enaruna scored the only goal for his side.
AS Racines 1-0 UNICEM Rovers
Akwa Starlets 1-0 Abia Comets
Delta Force 1-0 Ikorodu United