Two well-taken goals in the first half, by Nyima Nwangwa (19th min) and Albert Korvah (43rd min) on Thursday evening, gave Rivers United a comfortable 2-0, over promoted Doma United FC, in their rescheduled Day 16 fixture of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) played at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, in Port Harcourt.
Victory for the reigning NPFL Champions, meant they are now on 33 points, and 3 points clear at the top of the Group B log, which they previously shared with Lobi Stars of Makurdi, after a 1-0 defeat of Sunshine Stars of Akure, on Monday.
Thursday’s fixture, was the only outstanding game in both divides of the 2022/23 campaign, going into the regular season finalé, which the Interim Management Committee (IMC) has set to be played simultaneously, on Sunday May 21st, 2023 at all ten match venues, across the country.
On that day, the relegation to the Nigeria National League (NNL) of sides like El-kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri, Nasarawa United of Lagos, and Dakkada FC of Uyo would be ratified; while Wikki Tourists of Bauchi whose faint hopes of Survival, have been dangling on a piece of tread, will need extra grace to finally avoid going down.
For Doma United, whose final game is in Umuahia against Abia Warriors; failure to get a result in Port Harcourt, could still prove costly, as their being placed 3rd on 26 points is now threatened by two sides on 24 points – Abia Warriors and Sunshine Stars.
While Rivers United and Lobi Stars have booked their places in the Super Six from Group B; Bendel Insurance of Benin with 33 points, and seasoned campaigners Enyimba International of Aba with 31 points are the first two sides in Group A to punch their tickets; leaving Remo Stars of Ikene on 30 points and Akwa United on 29 points to battle it out for the remaining slot on Sunday.
The IMC has fixed the Super Six to hold from 2nd – 11th of June, 2023; with preference for an artificial surface that can stand the rigour of having 3 games played on it daily.
Without mincing words, the Interim Management Committee also reiterated that the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, in Onikan Lagos remains the venue for the showpiece.
Writing by Chinedum Ohanusi; Editing by Muzha Kucha and Julian Osamoto