Rivers United celebrated their first topflight league title in Port Harcourt pipping Gombe United 1-0. But it was in Ibadan and other locations where the fans of Shooting Stars were gathered that the celebration was loudest.
The Oluyole Warriors survived just marginally. Despite losing away to Kano Pillars 1-2, Shooting Stars had Wikki Tourists thank for handing Katsina United a 2-0 defeat in Gombe. With that, both Shooting and and Katsina United ended the season with 48 points each, but the Ibadan side survived on account of superior goal difference. Shooting Stars finished with minus four, while Katsina United managed minus eight.
Katsina United filled the remaining slot of relegated teams, MFM, Kano Pillars and Heartland having had their fate decided before Matchday 38.
Kwara United gave it all to displace Remo Stars at No 3, and be registered for next season’s CAF Confederation Cup. But it was rather a mission impossible for the Harmony Boys to have the day. While Remo Stars thrashed Niger Tornadoes 3-0 in Ikenne-Remo, Kwara United were beaten 1-0 by Heartland, who were playing their last match in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
Dakkada achieved a big win at home thrashing Sunshine Stars 3-0 to save themselves from going down. From the relegation zone, the Uyo side found themselves three steps above the drop zone.
Abia Warriors, who were just a step and a point above the red zone, also helped themselves dealing decisively with visiting Lobi Stars 3-0.
As the curtain falls on the 2021/22 NPFL season, Rivers United, Plateau United and Remo Stars will have to wait till September to open their continental campaign. All the teams will use the offseason to get prepared for another try at the title.
Matchday 38 results: Heartland 1-0 Kwara United, Remo Stars 3-0 Niger Tornadoes, Dakkada FC 3-0 Sunshine Stars, Plateau United 1-0 Enyimba, Wikki Tourists 2-0 Katsina United, Abia Warriors 3-0 Lobi Stars, Rangers 2-0 Akwa United, Rivers United 1-0 Gombe United, Kano Pillars 2-1 Shooting Stars, MFM 0-1 Nasarawa United