The race to gain promotion to Nigeria’s top flight league, the NPFL has intensified with promotion chasers picking up impressive results on Saturday.
From the Northern Conference, Kwara United have all but confirmed their return to the elite class after two years in the Nigerian National League while from the Southern Conference, Heartland (former Iwuanyawu Nationale) look poised to make an instant return to the top flight after their demotion last year.
With Heartland not playing until Sunday, the Owerri based side still command an unassailable five-point lead over their nearest challengers after Saturday’s games.
In Omoku, near Port Harcourt, South South Nigeria, Go Round FC, a privately owned side required one goal in each half from Ufere Chinedu and Eta Okon to earn a deserved 2-0 win over Osun United.
Playing on a wet and slippery pitch on their home turf at the KrisDera Hotel Stadium, Go Round FC never looked in danger all game and leapfrogged Bayelsa United into second spot based on superior goals difference.
“We are glad we won. I commend the mentality and physical approach of my players. Some of the players we brought in today gave their best.
“The team is chasing promotion and we do not need to drop points at
home,” Go Round coach, Ngozi Elechi told the club’s media after the game.
Bayelsa United before Saturday’s game
Despite their slip from second to third, Bayelsa United earned a creditable point at Insurance FC to keep their promotion hopes fully intact.
Daboere Dokubo’s United put up a dogged defensive display at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City to deny their hosts a chance of leaving their 8th position on the log.
There are still seven more games to play before the end of the league season but with Heartland playing at home to bottom-of-the-table My People FC on Sunday, they look more poised to widen the gap between them and the chasing pack. Only a matter of time before promotion is mathematically confirmed.
Go Round 2-0 Osun Utd
Gateway 2-1 Papilo FC
Nnewi Utd 1-0 Unicem Rovers
Insurance 0-0 Bayelsa Utd
Crown FC vs AS Racines
Ikorodu United vs Warriors Wolves
Delta Force vs Akwa Starlets
Heartland FC vs My People FC