The battle for survival in the 2023 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) season continues on Sunday as Kwara United and Nasarawa United will face off in a season-defining match in Group A at the Ondo State Sports Complex in Akure, www.aclsports.com reports.
— NPFL (@NigeriaPFL) May 6, 2023
It has been an underwhelming season for the Harmony Boys who have enjoyed top-four finishes in the previous two campaigns. Due to the ongoing renovation of the Ilorin stadium, Kwara United opted to play their home games in Ibadan before moving to Akure ahead of the second stanza; which may have affected their performances and they have now found themselves in an unwanted situation for the first time in four years.
A must-win game for Kwara United against Plateau United tomorrow in Akure before the relegation six-pointer against Nasarawa United next weekend.
Current log – Group A
— Engineer Kowope (@Undisputed_Jsam) April 29, 2023
The Ilorin side began the season without a win and a goal in their opening four games before snatching a late win over Akwa United in February, only to remain without a goal until the final match of the first round against Elkanemi in Maiduguri. Erstwhile coach Azeez Mohammed had to leave his post as technical adviser and Kabiru Dogo was named as the club’s new coach just days after leaving Wikki Tourists (another relegation candidate in Group B).
Having spent a decade in the top flight, the Solid Miners have found themselves in unfamiliar territory as well. The Lafia-side, who have also been playing their league home games away in Jos, have struggled to get things going like United. Bala Nikyu’s resignation after a run of poor results has not particularly changed their fortune with just two games to go.
The first meeting this term ended in a comfortable 2-0 win for the Solid Miners and it resulted in the departure of Azeez as Kwara United boss. Sunday’s second installment could decide who will be playing in the NPFL come next season. As things stand, Kwara United have 14pts and sit in eight, while Nasarawa United are in ninth with 13pts.
A win for Kwara United will send Nasarawa United down to the Nigeria National League (NNL), a draw will offer some hope to Nasarawa United who will be playing their final game of the season at home (v Bendel Insurance) while Kwara will be guests of super six hopefuls Remo Stars in Ikenne and a win for Nasarawa United on Sunday will also likely condemn the Ilorin side to the second division.
The game is expected to kick off by 4pm and it will be televised on the league’s official YouTube Channel and NTA.
Image credit: Adelase Jamiu