Hello! Action in the 2015/2016 Nigerian Football Professional League, NPFL Season came to an end at the weekend generally amidst pump and funfair while for some it was dawn of reality.
Obviously there were ‘losers and winners’ on the final match day as champions, continent-bound, and team who would ply their trades in the lower division were also confirmed.
‘Winners’: Ranger International FC of Enugu brought to an end their 32-year title drought having conquered to be crowned champions of the season. The flying Antelopes only needed a draw on final day to edge their closet rivals Rivers United who finished second place while Wikki Tourists claimed third spot following a comfortable win. Both Rangers and Rivers United will be competing in the CAF Champions League next season while Wikki booked a spot in the CAF Confederation Cup tournament.
The Battle for a continental ticket also featured Ifeanyi Ubah FC who had needed a win in Lagos against host MFM FC who themselves were in dire need of a victory. to survive the drop Having lost the game in Lagos, Ifeanyi Ubah finished fourth on the log, hence would need a win in the final of the Nigerian Federation Cup (FA) to play in continental competition along side Wikki.
‘Losers’: At the end of the day, all the Wolves in the City of Warri were no were to be found despite an inconsequential win over already confirmed relegated Ikorodu United.A win by a margin of at least six goals would have suffice for Warri Wolves to surpass MFM FC who found themselves in the relegation waters despite beinning their NPFL campaign in impressive fashin in the early stages. Heartland FC who had never had a taste of lower division faced Plateau United in Jos and only an outright win, pray a loss and then failure by MFM FC and Wolves.
Individual prize was also at stake to claim among the league’s sharpshooters. Wikki forward, Godwin Obaje, on paper and according to pundits, look home and dry with 18 goals, four more than FC Ifeanyiubah’s Ismaila Gata. On 13 goals is Abdulrahman Bashir of Nasarawa United while the duo of Chisom Egbuchulam and Anthony Okpotu are on 12 goals apiece. That certainly sums it up this for the race of top scorer.
There are many lessons, to be learnt from concluded npfl season both for the winners and losers, the take away would be that it is not over until it is over. The likes of Enyimba, Kano Pillars et al would earnestly be looking forward to next season.