NPFL

Rivers United become Nigerian league champions as Plateau United served Uyo heartbreak

Rivers United are leading the league with 10 points, and could extend it to 13 - with three games to go - should they defeat Nasarawa United on Sunday.

Rivers-United

Rivers United have become champions of the 2021/22 Nigeria Professional Football League after Plateau United fell to a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to defending champions Akwa United on Saturday.

The confirmation was made by the League Management Company (LMC) on Saturday, as Plateau United who were 10-points behind the Pride of Rivers, failed to close the points gap, with three games to go.

The victory will be Rivers United's first league title since the Rivers State Government were granted permission to merge Dolphins and Sharks into one club in 2016.

The 2017 champions Plateau United need a victory to keep pace with Rivers United going into Saturday's match at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.

However, the Jos team's day got off to a bad start as David Onovo scored the game's first goal in the 10th minute.

Akwa United maintained the momentum of the game but lost it early in the second half as Jesse Akila levelled the scoreline.

The visitors kept up their pressure, but Ayodeji Ayeni's tactical change in the final minutes proved to make the difference in Plateau's fate.

Bassey Ezekiel: just four minutes after coming on as a replacement, scored a heartbreaking goal in the fourth minute of extra time to win the game.

With Plateau United’s result, the Pride of Rivers will go into their Sunday fixture knowing that a defeat means nothing to their hopes of winning their first title since their official creation in 2016.

Rivers United could be officially handed the title when they return home to play Kano Pillars on matchday 36.

Rivers United were formed by the merger of Sharks and Dolphins in 2016, and play their games at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, formerly Liberation Stadium: home of Dolphins, in Elekahia.

Dolphins won the league in 1997, 2004 and 2011, as well as the Nigerian Cup in 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2007, while Sharks were Cup runners-up in 1979, 2003 and 2009.

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