July, 2 2023.
The trio of Katsina United, Kano Pillars and Sporting Lagos FC were the only sides to begin their quest for promotion to the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) with maximum points on Day-1 of the play-offs in Asaba, Delta State.
Following Saturday's draws, Kano Pillars were pitted against Abuja-based EFCC FC in the opening match scheduled for 9am and after a closely fought first-half, it was Willam Sunday's 47th minute goal in a Wet Stephen Keshi Memorial Stadium, Asaba that gifted Pillars a battling 1-0 win, and the first three points of the match.
Next to take to the pitch were DMD FC of Maiduguri and Katsina United aka Changi Boys, for whom former Enyimba striker, Victor Mbaoma scored a quick-fire first half brace before DMD steadied the tide, and scored a late consolation from the penalty spot through Saidu Salisu, as the match ended 2-1 in favour of Katsina United.
With the two Day-1 fixtures in the Northern Conference, done and dusted, the Southern teams had their turn in the afternoon session, starting with the 2pm kick-off between FC ONE Rocket of Abat and Sporting Lagos FC.
The keenly contest match was characterized by several missed opportunities, until the 88th minute when a goal was scored, what eventually became the winner for the darling team from Lagos.
In the match that was to follow Heartland FC of Owerri stuttered to a disappointed goalless draw with Stommers SC of Abeokuta, meaning Sporting FC are the only side with maximum points, after the opening day's games.
The NNL Super 8 play-offs continues on Monday, with four matches on the card - two in either conference.
EFCC FC coaches by Kabiru Sani will look to respond to Sunday's loss to Pillars, when they take to the pitch at 9am, to battle Coach Usman Shariff Abd'Allah tutored Katsina United, while DMD FC of Maiduguri tests the might of four-time NPFL Champions, Kano Pillars at the 11am kick-off.
Action will then switch to the Southern group, where Heartland of Owerri are in a must win game against FC ONE Rocket by 2pm, if their desire to make an early return to the NPFL is to be achieved.
Day-2 will be rounded-off with the South-West derby between Sporting FC of Lagos and Stormers FC of Abeokuta, starting from 4pm, www.ckdmedia.ng reports.