The NPFL22 finale was full of intrigue as the 2021-22 season came to an end on Matchday 38 in 10 centres across the country.
In Ikenne, Remo Stars capped off a brilliant season by clinching third place and, by extension, a place in next season’s CAF Confederation Cup. Lanky striker Andy Okpe scored a hat-trick for the Sky Blue Stars as they walloped Niger Tornadoes 3-0. The striker ended his debut campaign in the NPFL with 12 goals, playing a prominent role in Remo Stars securing a club-record points total.
Rivers United received their NPFL22 crown after claiming a lone-goal victory over Gombe United at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium. The league’s top scorer Chijioke Akuneto was the hero as he struck from the penalty spot after he was brought down in the box after only 11 minutes. It was the winger’s 19th goal of the campaign, earning him the Golden Boot for the 2021-22 NPFL season. Rivers United have set a new record of 77 points in the NPFL.
Rangers completed the league double over ex-champions Akwa United after claiming a 2-0 win over the Promise Keepers in Awka. Samuel Pam scored in each half to help the Flying Antelopes finish in fourth place, narrowly missing out on a continental spot to Remo Stars.
Plateau United defeated Enyimba in their NPFL22 Finale in Jos thanks to a second half strike from versatile midfielder Muhammed Zulkifilu. The Peace Boys will play in next season’s CAF Champions League after clinching second place.
Dakkada thrashed Sunshine Stars 3-0 to secure their survival in the NPFL for a fourth consecutive season. The Uyo-based outfit won the game at home thanks to a brace from former youth international Edidiong Ezekiel which sandwiched a penalty from club captain Aniekan Ekpe.
Relegated Kano Pillars defeated Shooting Stars, who narrowly escaped relegation, 2-1 in their NPFL22 Finale. Kano Pillars went ahead through Godspower Aniefiok before the Oluyole Warriors equalised. Club legend Rabiu Ali scored the winner from the penalty spot in the second half.
Nasarawa United defeated relegated MFM by a single goal at the Otunba Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu. Veteran striker Chinedu Ohanachom scored the only goal of the game in the first half.
Heartland defeated Kwara United by one goal to nil but could not beat the drop and have been relegated to the NNL. Adejoh Ojonugwa scored the game’s only goal to give the Naze Millionaires three points from the encounter.
Wikki Tourist claimed a 2-0 win over Katsina United to condemn the Chanji Boys to the NNL next season. Diminutive winger Fuad Ekelojuoti opened the scoring inside two minutes before Salisu Ibrahim added his side’s second.
Abia Warriors thrashed Lobi Stars 3-0 at the Okigwe Township Stadium to preserve their NPFL status for another season, at least. A Francis Odinaka own goal gave the Umuahia Landlords the lead before Valentine Odoh set-up Godwin Obaje to double the home side’s advantage. Odoh himself then rounded off the scoring from the penalty spot in the dying embers of the game.
All four promoted sides; Remo Stars, Gombe United, Shooting Stars and Niger Tornadoes have escaped relegation for the first time in the NPFL since 2013.