Kada beats Bendel Insurance to NNL Super Eight Play-Off crown
Kaduna-based Kada City Stars yesterday defeated Bendel Insurance 4-3 through penalties to win the Nigerian National League (NNL) Super Eight play-off, which ended in Aba yesterday. Scores at regulation time stood at 1-1.
Both teams, alongside Gombe United and Remo Stars had already qualified for the elite Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) as champions of the Southern and Northern Zones of the play-off, but they had to meet to decide the over all champion of the competition.
Insurance went ahead early in the first half when Emmanuel Uwagbojie capitalised on a defensive error to hit the back of the net, but Kabiru Sanusi equalized for the Kaduna side a minute before the break.
The second half saw no more goals and so the game had to be resolved via the penalty lottery.
Insurance lost their opening kick, while Kada reciprocated with their third to make scores 2-2. The Kaduna boys scored their next two kicks, while veteran Insurance star, Charles Omokaro failed from the spot to hand the trophy to Kada City Stars.
The match was a befitting finale to an interesting week, which gave Aba fans enough cause to celebrate Nigerian football.
All the four teams promoted to the NPFL from the Super Eight Play-off will not be on duty on Sunday when the league kicks off. They have been given time by the League Management Company (LMC) to refuel after their Super Eight heroics.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Edo State Football Association, Frank Ilaboya has congratulated the state governor, Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu over the promotion of Bendel Insurance to the elite class of the nation’s domestic league.
An excited Ilaboya said the return of Insurance to the elite class was clearly a fall-out of the massive support the club enjoyed from Obaseki.
“Governor Obaseki rebranded the club and I am so excited that after over a decade Insurance are back to where they rightly belong.
“The Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu has equally been wonderful. He not only motivated the players, but also even stepped unto the pitch to play, making history as the first sitting deputy governor to lace his boots in the Nigerian league”
“As FA chairman, I am happy this is happening in our time,” Ilaboya said.
Ilaboya, who is also Owan West Local Council chairman, said football fans should watch out for Insurance this season, insisting that the target of the club would be to do well and possibly pick a continental ticket.
“As we speak, the government is working on the Ogbe Stadium which would be used to host the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival. We would also want the arena to host continental football and with the kind of wonderful attention sports is receiving in the state, Insurance would go continental,” Ilaboya said.
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