Nigeria: Plateau United crowned league champions

The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) found a new champion in Plateau United on Saturday.

The Tin City boys achieved their first ever title glory after the side defeated the immediate past champions, Enugu Rangers 2-0 on the final day of the 2016/17 season at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium.

The Jos landlords earned the top-flight top prize of Fifty Million Naira (N50m) and coveted trophy with 66 points four behind closest challengers, Mountain of Fire Miracles Ministries (MFM) FC who went down 1-2 at El Kanemi Warriors in Maiduguri.

The two top-flights however will represent the country in the next Africa’s elite club championship, Caf Champions League.

Plateau United have now joined city rivals, Mighty Jets as teams that have brought top-flight glory to the Tin state.

Towering striker, Ckukwuemeka Umeh calmly slotted in the match opener beyond the reach of Enugu Rangers goalkeeper, Itodo Akor in the 26th minute to the wide jubilation of expectant partial crowds at the stand.

The home lads have to wait for a tense period before substitute, Benjamin Turba grabbed the match winner off a loose ball inside the box in the 89th minute to give the side a comfortable two-goal lead.

The Flying Antelopes who put up a good challenge in the clash had a goal bound effort by Bright Silas in the 62nd minute cleared off the goal line to the relief of the teeming crowds. The closest and clearest chance the Coal City side had in the encounter.

It was therefore a huge relief to the partisan crowds at the well packed 15, 000 seats Rwang Pam Township Stadium when the centre referee, Shuaibu Abdullahi signalled to the end of the hotly contested clash.

“It is an amazing feeling and I am so happy for everyone at Plateau United, we have waited for long and I am honoured to be part of this history.

“The team worked so hard for this, nobody believed we could do it this season but here we are as the NPFL champions.

“We have to raise our heads high,we survived a difficult hurdle and we are happy to be champions,” said head coach Kennedy Boboye.

Elsewhere, seven-time Nigerian champions, Enyimba confirmed their Caf Confederation Cup ticket with a slim 1-0 win against newcomers, Katsina United in Calabar to end the season’s campaign on the third spot on 61 points one point above closest challengers for the Africa’s second tier club championship, Akwa United.

However, the likes of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) and Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) FC where unlucky against their final day opponents, Niger Tornadoes and Nasarawa United respectively as they joined the already demoted duo, Gombe United and Remo Stars to the murky water of relegation.





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