Kano Pillars and Katsina United have completed their comeback to the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) from the Nigeria’s second division – Nigeria National League.
NNL Promotion Playoff – OFFICIAL:
Kano Pillars and Katsina United have secured their promotion to the NPFL.
The clubs relegated last season and they are back in one year.
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📷 At 42 (Will be 43 in September), Rabiu Ali is still starting games. LEGEND pic.twitter.com/cPzEjn69UN
— Adepoju Tobi Samuel 🇳🇬 (@OgaNlaMedia) July 5, 2023
The two football giants of the North were favourites to make a return to the elite division following their relegation last season and they have now done that after the completion of the NNL Super 8 group games.
Katsina defeated Pillars 1-0, while DMD also got the better of DMD to hand the promotion tickets to the top guns. In the Southern Conference, Heartland defeated already promoted Sporting Lagos 2-1 to deny Stormers SC, who walloped FC ONE Rocket 4-0, the other promotion ticket.
HOW IT HAPPENED
PILLARS, KATSINA PROMOTED!
FT: Kano Pillars 0-1 Katsina United
Victor Mbaoma's spot kick (his 4th goal in 3 games) handed United the vital win to seal qualification. DMD beat EFCC 2-0 to make it straight forward for Katsina.
— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) July 5, 2023
Pillars came into Wednesday’s game against Katsina United needing just a point to clinch top spot and one of the promotion tickets, but they lost 1-0 to the Changi Boys thanks to Victor Mbaoma’s fourth goal of the tournament.
Nevertheless, Sai Masu Gida, who had veteran skipper Rabiu Ali sent off against Katsina United, eventually secured the ticket as DMD FC defeated EFCC 2-0 in the other group game.
In the Southern Conference, Heartland came from a goal down to beat Sporting Lagos at the Stephen Keshi Stadium.
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! 🔴🔴🔴 pic.twitter.com/CVa2OpsmX3
— Heartland FC (@HeartlandFC_ng) July 5, 2023
The Lagosians went in front through Kalu Chukwuemeka’s early strike before Heartland responded through Francis Enikan before the break. The Naze Millionaires then went in front through Chidiebere Ajoku after the restart and held on for the win and promotion at the first time of asking. In the other game, Stormers walloped FC ONE Rocket 4-0 but it was not enough.
After the conclusion of the group stages, Kano Pillars finished top of the Northern Conference, while Heartland finished top of the Southern Conference. The two teams will compete in the final on Friday to determine the overall winner of the NNL this season.
Promoted teams for 2023/24 #NPFL season
1️⃣ Sporting Lagos
3️⃣ Kano Pillars
4️⃣ Katsina United pic.twitter.com/H8fy6hb5qI
— Engineer Kowope (@Undisputed_Jsam) July 5, 2023
Kano Pillars, Katsina United, Sporting Lagos and Heartland will play in the NPFL next season.