Battle for NWFL Super Four enters last stretch nationwide
Today is the last day of the Nigeria Women Premier League’s regular season with the 16 teams in the elite division fighting for favourable positions in the competition likely to end in a photo finish.
The dynamics of the NWPL last league games, going by the standing on the table, indicate that all the eight teams at the top two of each of the groups have the opportunity of playing in the NWPL Super Four to determine the true champion of the season.
In Group A, both Rivers Angels on 10 points and Delta Queens on eight points, have the opportunity of booking a place in the Super Four.
Delta Queens will host table-toppers Rivers Angels at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba. A win for Delta Queens will take them to 11 points and a place in the Super Four, while a win for Rivers Angels will give them 13 unassailable points and a clear lead to play in the Super Four. A draw for the two teams may not be a comfortable one, especially as FC Robo of Lagos, who are also on eight points with Delta Queens, may snatch the single slot of Group A, if they beat Osun Babes by 2-0 at the Osogbo Township Stadium.
Osun Babes may also have to play for their lives, as a loss to FC Robo will relegate them to the lower division.
So, all the games in Group A are like cup finals.
In Group B, we have Adamawa Queens topping with 11 points, and Edo Queens second with 10 points.
It is a more dicey situation in Group B, as Adamawa and Edo will be engaged in fierce battles respectively in Lagos against Dream Stars at the Agege Stadium, Lagos and Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri. Adamawa will battle against Dream Stars in Lagos for an outright win, which would take them to 14 points and a place in Super 4. Anything short of three points on away ground would be a precarious one for them. It would be a tough task, as a loss or scoreless draw for Dream Stars would confirm their return to the lower division, which they just left one season ago.
At the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Edo Queens must beat the recently motivated Heartland Queens outrightly to earn three solid points. A draw for Edo Queens would end their ambition of playing in the Super 4 and confirm Adamawa Queens for their first-ever appearance in the Super 4. Edo Queens will be going to Owerri with all their arsenal as they badly need a win while praying for Adamawa Queens to lose in Lagos.
In Group C, table toppers, Bayelsa Queens on 10 points, will host former champions, Nasarawa Amazons, who are on four points at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa. A win for Bayelsa is important to wade off the threat of Sunshine Queens of Akure who are on seven points. The Amazons are far away from the Super Four challenge, but a loss for them in Bayelsa and a win or draw for Kaduna Queens will take the Christopher Danjuma Girls on relegation, as Kaduna will come to seven points or five points. A loss for Kaduna Queens means relegation. So, all the two games in Group C in Yenagoa and Akure are equal to cup finals.
In Group D, Lokoja and Abia will be on fire, as table-toppers Ibom Angels on nine points must defeat home team Abia Angels on their home ground to book a place in the Super Four. Though Abia Angels coached by former Super Falcons goalkeeper, Ann Agumanu Chiejine, don’t have any fears as they are on safe mode with seven points, while newly promoted Invincible Angels, are on four points and deep in relegation waters.
For Ibom Angels to go to the Super Four, they must beat Abia Angels in Abia. A draw game will be dangerous if Confluence Queens in second place with eight points eventually beat Invincible Angels in Lokoja. If Confluence Queens beat Invincible Angels, they will get 11 points and a berth in the Super Four.
This is the first time all the last games in the Nigeria Women Premier League will be crucial to the teams that want to play in the Super Four, as well as those that want to retain their Premier League status.
This is a confirmation big the improved standard of the Nigerian women’s football league under the tutelage of Aisha Falode, the Chairperson of the Nigeria Women Football League board.
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