Privately owned Kada City of Kaduna and Gombe United on Wednesday morning confirmed their promotion to Nigeria’s top division football league, Nigeria Professional Football League (NFF) after a 0-0 draw at the NNL Super Eight tournament in Aba.
Both teams were joint top of the Northern Zone after two rounds of matches having notched up four points apiece and knowing fully well that a draw will suffice for both sides, it was not unexpected that the two teams cancelled themselves out inside the morning sunshine.
The Kaduna boys dominated the opening exchanges but failed to find a way beyond Rio Olympics goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel who was making his debut for Gombe United. Gombe went closest to breaking the deadlock on two different occasions in the second half but forwards Adamu Muhammed and Christian Obiozor missed easy chances from close range.
Both sides thus finished with five points and earned promotion to the top flight. Gombe United are making another return to the NPFL after relegating at the end of the 2016/17 season while Kada City will be playing among Nigeria’s elites for the first time in their short history.
In the group’s other game decided earlier in the day, Kogi United edged Real Stars (also of Kaduna) 2-1 in an intriguing encounter. Kogi drew the first blood in the fifteenth minute through winger John Jerome who finished Idris Muye’s pass with aplomb.
Kogi, who entered the game with a minus three goals difference got some hopes after the hour mark when forward Ibrahim Enesi poked home Jerome’s right wing cross. The hopes were however dashed when Real Stars substitute Ansaru Abubakar found the back of the net with seven minutes remaining.
The win took Kogi to four points but still left with a negative goals difference, while Real Stars ended their Super Eight campaign without any victory.
Kada City will now face the leader in the Southern Zone in Thursday’s playoffs final.