Rivers United became champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) after Plateau United suffered a stunning 2-1 defeat to Akwa United in Uyo.
10 things you should know about the 2022 NPFL champions Rivers United
Rivers United have emerged Champions of Nigeria for the first-time-ever, but what do you know about them?
The Stanley Eguma-led team who lost 2-1 in their own matchday 35 fixture away at Nasarawa United, had 71 points to Plateau United’s 61, as at the time they won the league.
As at the completion of the league, Rivers United maintained their 10-points gap over runners-up Plateau United, finishing with a recording 77 points.
The Pride of Rivers were on Sunday, July 17 officially crowned as champions of the 2021/22 Nigeria Professional Football League season.
Here are 10 important points to note about the new Nigerian champions.
- This would be the Pride of Rivers’ first-ever crown since the club's merger in 2016.
- Before 2016, Rivers United was known as two clubs: Dolphins Football Club and Sharks Football Club. Both clubs no longer exist.
- This is the fourth time the Nigerian league title will head to Port Harcourt or Rivers State, at large. Dolphins won the league in 1997 (as Eagles Cement), 2004 and 2011.
- Rivers United's 2022 title-winning manager Stanley Eguma, is the longest-serving manager in the NPFL. He joined defunct Dolphins in 2008 and won the league with them in 2010. In 2017, he was named the manager of Rivers United.
- Since its first season, Rivers United has remained a top-flight club and has never tasted relegation.
- In their first season as Rivers United, the club finished in second place to Rangers International. The following season, they finished 15th, only managing to escape relegation by 3 points.
- With 77 points, Rivers United set a new record for the most NPFL title-winning points in a regular season, surpassing the previous record set by Dolphins in 2011 (73 points). Last season's champions Akwa United, won the league with 71 points.
- With a 10 points gap, Rivers United set a new record for the most points gap between the league champions and runners-up. Heartland (as Iwuanyanwu Nationale in 1989) Enyimba (in 2003 and 2005) and Akwa United (in 2021) jointly held the previous record, with a 5-points gap being the most in the NPFL.
- The Rivers United crest contains two fishes: a shark and a dolphin, signifying the 2016 merger.
- Rivers United play their matches at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in the Elekahia suburb of Port Harcourt. The stadium was expanded to hold 16,000 fans in 1998. In 2015, it was renamed from 'Liberation Stadium' in honour of former Nigerian military head of state, General Yakubu Gowon.