Sporting Lagos script history in promotion to Nigeria Premier League

Sporting Lagos script history in promotion to Nigeria Premier League
Credit: @SportingLagos

Sporting Lagos have gained promotion to the Nigeria Premier League with one game to spare after picking up their second win of the Nigeria National League playoffs on Monday.

The Lagos club was only founded in 2022 and got license to play in the Nigerian second tier. They ended the regular season top of Group B2 in the Southern Conference with 18 points from 10 matches.

After opening their playoff campaign with a 1-0 win over FC One Rocket last weekend, the Lagos-based club continued their impressive march into Nigeria's top flight in their second Group B game of the playoffs against Abeokuta Stormers.

Both sides endured a tough first half amid intense hostilities where neither team scored. But 10 minutes into the second half, Rivio opened the scoring with a deflected shot from outside the box to give Sporting Lagos the lead.

Sporting Lagos players celebrating
Sporting Lagos players celebrating.

With time running out, Abeokuta Stormers charged forward and could have restored parity in the 82nd minute through a penalty. However, a save from Christian in goal for Sporting Lagos kept the Ogun State side at bay.

Sporting Lagos then sealed the victory in the 88th minute from a Saturday Okon strike to send the fans and coaching crew into a wild celebration at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.

After the hard-fought 2-0 win against Abeokuta Stormers on Monday night, Paul Offor's Sporting Lagos side scripted history to become the youngest club to gain promotion to the Nigeria Premier League.

Coach Paul Offor's reaction after Sporting Lagos win

Sporting Lagos coach, Paul Offor
Coach Offor @SportingLagos

Speaking to the media branch of the Lagos club, the coach couldn't hide his happiness at what they achieved, but reiterated the importance of their next game and their dream to win the playoffs outright.

“We're happy to have qualified, but we know there's so much work left. We're preparing for Wednesday's game against Heartland F.C. We want to win that and move forward to winning the NNL. That's what we're focused on now,” Offor said.

Sporting Lagos will face Heartland of Owerri in their last Group B game of the playoffs as they look to string their third straight win and emerge Champions of the Nigeria National League Super 8 playoffs.

In the other game of the Southern Conference, Heartland moved a step closer in their quest to return to the NPL after a 1-0 win over FC One Rocket on the same day.

The Naze Millionaires need just a point from their next fixture against Sporting Lagos to confirm their return to the top flight as well.

However, with the Group B table-toppers also eager to win this match, this match promises to be a cracker to keep an eye on.

Who will reign supreme at the end of 90 minutes? We'll leave time to answer.

This article was most recently revised and updated 12 months 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.