August, 27 2022.
After seven years in the wilderness of Nigerian club football, Bayelsa United on Saturday announced its return to the Nigeria Professional Football League NPFL following a 2-0 victory over Cynosure Fc of Abakaliki at Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa.
Timitimi Ineikade and Robert Mizo wrote their names in gold by scoring in each half in an encounter that was witnessed by the first lady of Bayelsa State Dr. Mrs Gloria Diri, some government officials and sports enthusiasts.
Timitimi Ineikade gave the Prosperity Boys lead just before the halftime mark from midfielder Alex Oyowah's beautiful low cross to beat Cynosure Fc goaltender Akwari Franklin having failed to take lead few minutes into the game when Daniel Ekpo's shot went wide.
Substitute Tonyemiete Owugha on 66 minute almost doubled the scoreline for the host from Robert Mizo cross but was unable to take the advantage of a collapsed Cynosure Fc defence line.
Robert Mizo on 73 was brought down in the danger zone by Ezema Ifeanyi as Stephen Wisdom's spot kick was saved by Cynosure Fc goalkeeper Akwari Franklin who was kept very busy throughout the game.
When it looked like the Prosperity Boys were going to end the game 1-0 substitute Robert Mizo compounded the woes of the visitors as he intelligently curled ball into the net on 76 minute to send the jubilant crowd at the Samson Siasia Stadium into celebration.
The victory moves Bayelsa United into the promise land having failed on three occasions, 2017, 2019 and 2020 before the appointment of the current board.
The return of Bayelsa United to the NPFL was also a fulfillment of Governor Douye Diri's drive to see that Prosperity mantra of his administration is achieved with sports and ensuring that Bayelsans witnessed topflight football.
An elated technical adviser of Bayelsa United, Diepreye Teibowei in a post match interview said he was happy to guide the team back to the elite division, pointing out that the intensity of the match affected the quality of play.
While appreciating Bayelsans for their support, Coach Teibowei explained that Robert Mizo was kept on the bench due to a minor injury that he has been nursing.
Despite the defeat Cynosure FC coach Joseph Bukola noted that their plans was to get three points in Yenagoa, stressing that his team gave a good account of themselves.
Also, experienced left back Hassan Oladimeji asserted that he feels fulfilled to come back to the Nigeria Professional Football League NPFL having vowed not leave the club in 2016 when they dropped to the lower division.
He thanked the Bayelsa State government and the management of the club for giving priority to the welfare of the players, adding that he was encouraged by coach Diepreye Teibowei to stay back when he wanted to break his vow and move on.