By Ime Bassey
As the Nigerian Premier League finally comes to an end today after a long wait by Nigerians, permutations still trail the league as it goes to the wires.
The two contenders for the title, Sunshine Stars and Dolphins will both play away to Kano Pillars and Bukola Babes respectively to determine who goes home with the coveted title.
Expressing assurance on the tie in Kano, Sunshine Stars Coach, Gbenge Ogunbote said, “It is a crucial game for both teams bearing in mind the trophy and continental ticket at stake. We have worked hard this season for the title and I pray that it wouldn’t elude us. I am only begging the NPL to make the officiating of the game fair and for it to be televised so everybody would be satisfied with the result. I am optimistic we will come out victorious with the title.”
In contrast to Coach Ogunbote’s views, Kano Pillars Media Officer, Malikawa Garu said, “The management of the team is doing everything possible to win the game. We have this confidence that the players will give their best to get three points so we can play in the CAF Confederations Cup next season.”
Garu also commented on the officiating of the game thus: “the referees have been doing their best this season but we are encouraging them to improve on it.”
On the other game between Bukola Babes and Dolphins at the Ilorin Township Stadium which also will determine the title, coach of the home side, Suleiman Dogo said, “there is nothing special about the game for me because I will play them like we have been playing others in the league. We are in good spirit for the encounter coming from an away win in Makurdi against Lobi Stars. I am very sure we will defeat them since we intend to finish the league amongst the top ten and the only way we can do that for now is to win the game.”
But Dolphins’ defender, Victor Ezuruike said his colleagues are bent on breaking the odds to win the title.
“By the special grace of God we are gong to do our best to win the game because we know that this is the only way we can win the title. We are hoping to win despite the odds. Our victory over Zamfara United is a good motivation for the Bukola Babes tie,” Ezuruike said.