BY Idris Shehu
Kano Pillars have secured a return to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) just a year after relegation.
The club secured its promotion to the top-flight league despite a 1-0 loss to Katsina United in their final group game of the ongoing Nigeria National League (NNL) Super Eight playoff.
Victor Mboama’s strike was the difference between both sides at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, on Wednesday.
The result was, however, favourable for both the victor and the vanquished as United also clinched a spot in the NPFL next season.
Both teams finished as the best two teams in the northern conference half of the playoff, with Pillars finishing top on goals difference.
In the southern conference, Heartland FC of Owerri came from a goal down to defeat Sporting Lagos and earn promotion to the NPFL.
Although Sporting had already booked their place in the top flight for next season, the loss saw them finish second behind the Nazi Millionaires in the group.
The top teams in both groups — Heartland and Kano Pillars — will face off in the playoff final billed for Friday.
The trio of Kano Pillars, Heartland, and Katsina United were relegated to NNL on the final day of the 2021/22 season.