Four NNL teams secure promotion into the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier League

Four NNL teams secure promotion into the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier League
Credit: @SportingLagos

Four Nigeria National League teams secure promotion into the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier League season.

History was made in the Nigeria National League Super 8 playoffs that was held at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, as four teams from the second-tier league qualified for the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier League season.

Sporting Lagos were the first team to secure an NPL promotion berth on Monday after picking up their second win of the Super 8 playoffs against Stormers SC on Monday, 3 July. While the other three teams, Kano Pillars, Katsina United, and Heartland FC, learnt their fate on Wednesday.

How it went down in the Northern Conference on the last day

In the Northern Conference, Kano Pillars' qualification was already a done deal heading into the playoffs final round on Wednesday against Katsina United, for having picked up two wins in their first two games of the playoffs.

With Katsina United needing all three points to seal their place in Nigeria's top-flight league, they did what's expected of them by defeating Kano Pillars 1-0 in a keenly contested affair.

Former Enyimba forward Victor Mbaoma scored the decisive goal in the 59th minute to condemn the former NPL champions to their only defeat of the playoffs. The win ensured that the Katsina side finished the playoffs second in the Northern Conference group with six points, same as Kano Pillars, but on an inferior goal difference.

Both teams returned to the Nigeria Premier League on Wednesday afternoon after spending one year in the lower league.

The other matchup of the Northern Conference ended with DMD beating EFCC 2-0 to finish third and fourth in the group. They will continue their fight for a place in the NPL next season.

How it went down in the Southern Conference on the last day

We've established before that four teams secured promotion to the Nigeria Premier League, two each from the North and South conferences.

In the South conference, Sporting Lagos already gained promotion on Monday before squaring off with Heartland on Wednesday.

In another keenly contested tie on Wednesday, Heartland Football Club of Owerri needed to grab all three points in their heavyweight clash with Sporting Lagos.

The Naze Millionaires had to dig deep after going a goal down to secure a 2-1 win over Sporting Lagos. Heartland FC came from behind after ending the first half tied on 1-1, to secure the win in the second half as a 71st-minute goal was enough to bring them back to the Nigeria Premier League next season after spending a year in the second-tier league.

Nigeria National League playoffs results

NNL promotion playoff – Day 1 results:

Northern Conference:

Kano Pillars 1-0 EFCC FC (02 July 2023)

DMD FC 1-2 Katsina United (02 July 2023)

Southern Conference:

Sporting Lagos 1-0 FC One Rocket

Stormers SC 0-0 Heartland FC.

NNL promotion playoffs – Day 2 results

Northern Conference:

EFCC 2-1 Katsina Utd (03 July 2023)

Kano Pillars 2-0 DMD FC (03 July 2023)

Southern Conference:

Sporting Lagos 2-0 Stormers SC (03 July 2023)

FC One Rocket 0-1 Heartland FC (03 July 2023)

NNL promotion playoff – Day 3 results

Northern Conference:

Kano Pillars 0-1 Katsina United (05 July 2023)

EFCC FC 0-2 DMD FC (05 July 2023)

Southern Conference:

Heartland FC 2-1 Sporting Lagos (05 July 2023)

Stormers SC 4-0 FC One Rocket (05 July 2023)

Kano Pillars, Katsina United, Sporting Lagos and Heartland FC replaced Dakkada FC, Nasarawa United, Wikki Tourists and El-Kanemi Warriors, who got relegated into the NNL last season.

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago

Joseph is a freelance writer who spends most of his time writing engaging football contents. Based in Nigeria, Joseph is a die-hard Real Madrid fan with over 8 years experience in the sports betting space. He has covered football match previews, predictions, and news across leagues in Africa and Europe.