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NPFL 2023/24 winner and losers

As the 2023-24 Nigeria Premier Football League ended on Sunday, ABIODUN ADEWALE studies on achievements, disappointments and close to misses of the league after 38 rounds of matches


Rangers topped champions

Enugu Rangers have been topped champions of the Nigeria Premier Football League for the eighth time of their historical past on Sunday and so they capped their season with a 2-1 away win in opposition to Gombe United on the New Jos Stadium.

The league champions have been welcomed into the mainbowl of the New Jos Stadium with a guard of honour by their relegated opponents and normal supervisor of Rangers, Amobi Ezeaku captained the Flying Antelopes for his second look within the league.

Fidelis Ilechukwu’s males have been off to a flying begin with two objectives inside seven minutes courtesy of Kazeem Ogunleye and Godwin Obaje. Anas Hassan pulled one again for the Savannah Scorpions however the Flying Antelopes didn’t really feel the sting, holding on to their lead and profitable the title by 5 factors.

Enugu Rangers had sealed the league title final week and ended the season with 70 factors.

Remo and Enyimba continental tickets

With the title already settled earlier than the ultimate day, second-placed Remo Stars and third-placed Enyimba nonetheless discovered themselves in must-win conditions to seal their place within the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup respectively subsequent season.

In Ikenne, Remo took their future into their arms in opposition to Katsina United profitable 2-1 to seal the second spot and a continental ticket for the third time of their historical past.

The league’s prime help supplier and newly capped Super Eagles defender, Sodiq Ismail waited until the final day of the season to get a purpose of his personal for Remo’s opener earlier than Dayo Ojo doubled the benefit.

Former champions Enyimba nonetheless left it late in Aba as an 78th minute purpose from Chijioke Mbaoma plus one other from Alade Balogun within the 88th minute noticed them beat Plateau United 2-0.

Were they held to a goalless draw, the third spot and the  CAF Confederation Cup ticket would have gone to 3SC who beat Sporting Lagos 1-0 in Ibadan.

Mbaoma wins Eunisell Golden Boot

Enyimba striker Chijioke Mbaoma can see himself as N3.4m richer for profitable the NPFL Eunisell Golden Boot with 17 objectives. Each purpose is valued by the sponsors at N200,000.

Before the ultimate day, he led the purpose chart with 16 objectives, yet one more than Remo Stars’ Sikiru Alimi and he added yet one more on Sunday to keep away from his challenger who failed to attain.

The bullish striker began the season slowly, scoring simply twice in his first 10 appearances however he added extra as quickly as he broke his duck.

Mbaoma succeeds his former Enyimba teammate, Emeka Obioma because the winner of the award.

Safe arms Obasogie

Despite Bendel Insurance’s unimpressive efficiency this season, their goalkeeper Amas Obasogie was head and shoulder above different goalkeepers within the league with 18 clear sheets. He had three greater than Kayode Bankole of Remo Stars and Kingdom Osayi of Doma United who each had 15. Title challengers final season with an unprecedented 21-game unbeaten document within the league, the Benin Arsenal completed the 2023/24 season in ninth place with 53 factors.

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Bayelsa United, Akwa United survive

Former champions Bayelsa United and Akwa United survived relegation on the ultimate.

Winners in 2009, Bayelsa United defeated Bendel Insurance 2-0 in Benin City to maneuver as much as fifteenth within the desk with 50 factors.

2021 champions, Akwa United additionally recorded a 3-1 win over Rivers United at dwelling to finish the season with 49 factors in sixteenth place.

For all their woes all through the season, each groups earned the appropriate to be referred to as winners by retaining their NPFL standing on the ultimate day.


Sporting Lagos again to NNL

Just one season within the NPFL, Sporting Lagos are again within the Nigeria National League, the second tier. They have been doomed for relegation after a 1-0 defeat in opposition to 3SC in Ibadan.

They wanted a win in opposition to the Oluyole Warriors to make sure of their security however that might not have been sufficient, contemplating different outcomes which noticed Bayelsa United and Akwa United document wins.

The Lagos membership began the season below supervisor Paul Offor, however he was sacked with eight video games remaining within the league whereas they have been thirteenth within the desk.

Sacking Offor didn’t show proper ultimately as new coach Abdullahi Biffo couldn’t guarantee their security, shedding 4, drawing two and profitable solely two of their last matches, leaving them seventeenth within the desk with 46 factors.

Doma doomed

From ending the primary half of the season in third place to being the staff with the longest streak of matches with out conceding a purpose this season (9), Doma United, sadly, discover themselves again within the second tier.

They ended the marketing campaign with a 1-1 dwelling draw in opposition to Abia Warriors and winless of their final 5 matches. Their fortunes started to dwindle in January, shedding 12 matches plus seven attracts and simply three wins.

In their two seasons within the NPFL, the Savannah Scorpions and their followers in Gombe will relish their first marketing campaign the place they nearly made the NPFL Super 6 playoffs.

The different relegated groups are Heartland and Gombe United.

3SC late resurgence not sufficient

Five-time Nigerian champions Shooting Stars would have been among the many winners of the season, however agonizingly lacking out on a continental ticket on the ultimate day is as dangerous as shedding.

The Oluyole Warriors ended the season with 62 factors in fourth place, only a level behind Enyimba.



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