Against all odds and expectations, Kwara United have secured the CAF Confederations Cup slot following a 3-0 win over Katsina United on the final day of the 2020/21 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) after 38 days of intrigues, suspense and action.
On Thursday, all the twenty clubs played with some fighting to remain in the league, few others were battling to secure continental tickets while some were already condemned to be relegated.
After the conclusion of hostilities across the centers, Enyimba FC emerged second with 66 points to pick the second CAF Champions League slot after defeating Dakkada FC 3-1 while an unfancied Kwara United who were 6th before the last game snuck up to 3rd position with 65 points to pick the CAF Confederations Cup slot following a 3-0 win over Katsina United.
Kwara’s victory saw the Ilorin-based club overtaking the trio of Nasarawa United, Kano Pillars and Rivers United who were expected by bookmakers to slug it out and secure the final slots.
Nasarawa United who were placed second prior before the game and needed a win to maintain their position lost 1-3 to Abia Warriors to end their season on 65 points. However, the ‘Solid Miners’ have the opportunity to still play in CAF Confederations Cup if they defeat Bayelsa United in the AITEO Cup final on Sunday.
Kano Pillars whose fate were out of their hands, needed both Enyimba and Nasarawa to fall, failed to win their own match as they lost by a lone goal to Heartland FC to end the season on 64 points
In the same vein, Rivers United who had recruited some of the best players in the league such as Theophilus Afelokhai, Ifeanyi Anaemena were unable to secure a slot as they fell 1-0 to Sunshine Stars who on their own needed a win to remain in the league.
Enugu Rangers defeated Plateau United by 2-0 goals to end the season in the 7th position while the former were 9th. Akwa United who had nothing to lose lost 1-2 to Lobi Stars who finished the season on 8th position with 58 points.
Wikki Tourist escaped relegation as they defeated Adamawa United 2-0 to end the season on 15th position with 45 points
However, it was tears for clubs like Jigawa Golden Stars and Warri Wolves who needed to win their games to stand a chance of staying in the top-flight football next season but fell 2-0, 1-0 to MFM FC and an already relegated IfeanyiUbah FC respectively.