Kano Pillars have emerged as the third team to qualify for the season-ending Super Six tourney.
Pillars sealed a place in the playoffs following their 3-0 thrashing of Delta Force in their Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matchday 21 fixture on Monday at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.
It was veteran midfield maestro, Rabiu Ali, that shot Pillars into the lead in the 19th minute from the penalty spot.
The second half goals from the duo of Auwalu Ali Malam and Yusuf Maigoro ensured that he former champions sealed their place in the Super Six even with a game to spare.
Pillars are in the second position in the NPFL Group B with 37 points from 21 games and they have an unassailable four-point gap ahead of third-placed Ifeanyi Ubah FC who are occupying the final playoff spot.
The Anambra side moved to the third spot after they stunned El-Kanemi Warriors 1-0 in Maiduguri.
They would now have to secure maximum points in their final home game to confirm their place also in the Super Six.
In Uyo, Akwa United and Abia Warriors played out a thrilling 2-2 draw.
Though the Promise Keepers have already secured one of the playoff tickets in Group B, they were still too difficult to conquer for Abia Warriors who are battling to escape relegation.
Coach Rafael Everton’s men came from behind twice to deny the visitors maximum points.
There was another four-goal thriller in Lafia where Nasarawa United played out a 2-2 draw with Go Round.
The situation in the NPFL Group B is still delicately poised as only the top three teams are assured of their safety with the other nine clubs still in danger of being relegated.
In Group A, Lobi Stars and Enyimba boosted their chances of qualifying for the Super Six with home wins over Wikki Tourists and Niger Tornadoes respectively.
While the Pride of Benue got a 2-1 win despite been bereaved of their coach Solomon Ogbeide, the People’s Elephant recorded a 2-0 win over the Ikon Allah Boys who have now been relegated to the Nigeria National League, NNL.
In Ilorin, Kwara United beat already relegated Remo Stars 2-1.
Earlier in the day, the Afonja Warriors had protested over the non payment of their four months salaries and other outstanding allowances.
Monday’s victory is still not enough to guarantee Kwara United’s stay in the NPFL as they would still need to win their final game of the season and hope other results go in their favour.
Lobi 2-1 Wikki
Rangers 1-0 Rivers Utd
Kwara Utd 2-1 Remo Stars
Enyimba 2-0 Tornadoes
MFM 2-1 Katsina Utd
Insurance 1-0 Sunshine
Plateau Utd 2-0 Yobe DS
Nasarawa 2-2 Go Round
Pillars 3-0 D/Force
Akwa Utd 2-2 A/Warriors
El-Kanemi 0-1 FCIU
Gombe Utd 1-0 Heartland