Promotion hopefuls Kano Pillars and Sporting Lagos both kicked off their Nigeria National League (NNL) Playoff campaign with wins on Sunday, www.aclsports.com reports.
🚨FT: Kano Pillars 1-0 EFCC FC
Kano Pillars have picked up their first 3pts of the #NNL23Super8.
One more win vs DMD FC tomorrow will return them to the NPFL. pic.twitter.com/5n0amQob8s
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— MikeThePundit (@Mike_ThePundit) July 2, 2023
The season-ending event has been organized by the league body to produce the four teams that will be playing in the top-flight – Nigeria Premier Football League – next season.
Kano Pillars, who were relegated from the elite division in 2022, edged EFCC 1-0, while Sporting Lagos, who are keen to play in the top flight for the first time, also grabbed a 1-0 win over FC ONE Rocket in the Southern Conference.
Another promotion hopeful, Katsina United defeated DMD 2-1, while Heartland and Stormers played out a goalless draw in the day’s final games at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.
Victor Mbaoma scored both goals for Katsina United as they started the #NNL23Super8 on a winning note.
— NPFL News 🇳🇬 (@NPFL_News) July 2, 2023
Kano Pillars didn’t find it easy in the tournament’s opening game against EFCC, but they managed to pull through. Former Warri Wolves winger Sunday Williams scored the game’s only goal just seconds after the break to hand Sai Masu Gida the much-needed win.
Meanwhile, former Enyimba forward Victor Mbaoma grabbed a first-half brace to help Katsina United beat DMD 2-1 in the group’s second game. Saidu Salisu scored DMD’s only goal from the spot in the second half.
FT: FC One Rockets 0-1 Sporting Lagos
Emmanuel Odafe’s 88th minute goal off a Chisom Orji assist hands the Lagosians a priceless win in their #NNL23Super8 opener in Asaba.
They face Abeokuta Stormers in the second game tomorrow.
Let’s go Sporting 👌
— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) July 2, 2023
Emmanuel Odafi’s late goal handed Sporting Lagos an opening-day win over FC ONE Rocket. Rockets took charge of the opening twenty minutes, but after that moment, Sporting took control and should have been ahead before the break.
Kalu Chukwuemeka and Rivio Ayemwenre missed big chances but all of that wouldn’t matter anymore as Chisom Orji’s low drive was directed home by Emmanuel for the winner.
The group’s other game between Heartland and wasteful Stormers finished goalless.
Kano Pillars and Sporting Lagos will be looking for wins on Match Day Two on Monday which could confirm their promotion to the top flight.
Matchday Two fixtures – Monday, July 3rd
EFCC FC Vs Katsina United (9am)
Kano Pillars Vs DMD FC (11am)
FC ONE Rocket Vs Heartland FC (2pm)
Sporting Lagos Vs Stormers SC (4pm)
Photo Credit: Ikechukwu Ojibi