Traditional sides Bendel Insurance and El-Kanemi Warriors were the biggest casualties on the final day of the 2018/19 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) regular season after they were relegated from Groups A and B respectively.
Insurance needed a point from their visit to Rivers United to stay afloat and held on for 80 minutes before Konan Ruffin N’gouan’s penalty condemned them to a defeat with returns the team back to the second division Nigeria National League (NNL) from where they came from this January.
In Group B, it was a classic case of anticlimax for El-Kanemi – who started the season brilliantly – losing 2-0 to Heartland and consequently relegating to the NNL. Chukwudi Nwaodu and Uche Oguchi scored both goals in the first and second half respectively to earn Heartland a stay in the NPFL.
The other matters decided on Sunday included that of season ending playoff spots from Group A and B which went to Lobi Stars, Enyimba and FC Ifeanyiubah respectively. Sunshine Stars’ 4-2 win over MFM FC meant they avoided relegation while their visitors ultimately failed to earn a top three spot.
Sunshine 4-2 MFM FC
(Dayo Ojo 18′ PEN, 25′ PEN, 90′; Anthony Omaka 45′ – Alade Balogun 30′, Chijioke Akuneto 57′)
Wikki Tourists 1-0 Rangers International
(Manu Garba 61′)
Katsina United 2-1 Enyimba FC
(Martins Usule 35′, Tasiu Lawal 65′ PEN – Chinedu Udechukwu 90+1′)
Niger Tornadoes 0-1 Kwara United
(Afeez Nosir 40′)
Remo Stars 0-0 Lobi Stars
Rivers United 1-0 Bendel Insurance
(Konan Ruffin Ngouan 71′ PEN)
Yobe Desert Stars 1-2 Nasarawa United
(Adamu Ali 45+2′ – Sunusi Ibrahim 12′ PEN, 40′)
Abia Warriors 3-0 Kano Pillars
(Tunde Abdulsalami 9′, Samson Obi 52′, Emeka Isaac 60′)
Heartland FC 2-0 El-Kanemi Warriors
(Chukwudi Nwaodu 23′, Uche Oguchi 82′)
Delta Force 0-0 Plateau United
Go-Round FC 0-1 Gombe United
(Adam Mohammed 9′)
FC Ifeanyiubah 2-1 Akwa United
(Chijioke Alaekwe 31′, Christian Nnaji 79′ – Ocheme Edoh 87′)