NPFL: Sporting Lagos, Akwa, Bayelsa and Doma battle to stay in the elite division

NPFL: Sporting Lagos, Akwa, Bayelsa and Doma battle to stay in the elite division

With the emergence of Enugu Rangers has the 2023/24 season champion battle now shifted to the bottom of the table where Sporting Lagos, Akwa United, Bayelsa United, and Doma United are battling not to join Gombe United and Heart of Owerri in the lower division.

Despite a hard-fought 2-1 win over Enyimba at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena on Sunday, Sporting, the darling team of Lagos still find themselves deep in the relegation waters in 17th position with 46 points and they face a tough battle in their last game against continental ticket-chasing 3SC at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan.

Jonathan Alukwu scored a late winner for them in the win over Enyimba, but their midweek loss at home to Plateau United might be the ultimate finisher of their fate if they go down.

Former champions Akwa United are on the same points as Sporting (46) but above the drop zone on goal difference.

To be sure of safety, the Promise Keepers need to beat Rivers United in their last game of the season at home and hope for favourable results in the matches involving other strugglers.

Bayelsa United have been irrepressible in their last four matches which had seen them pick a crucial draw at Enyimba in midweek before coming from a goal down to beat 3SC 2-1 in Yenagoa on Sunday.

They sit two places above the relegation zone with just one point more than Sporting and Akwa United but their last hurdle against Bendel Insurance in Benin might pull them down if other strugglers get maximum points in their games.

Despite being in the top three at the end of the first half of the season, Doma United now find themselves rooted 18th with 43 points. If the Savannah Tigers want to stay up for their third season in the NPFL, they must beat Abia Warriors by as many goals as possible and see if they have done enough to survive as their destiny is not totally in their hands.

Former champions Heartland and Gombe United have already been relegated and two more teams will join them in the Nigeria National League next season.