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NPFL: Plateau Utd wear the crown

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Plateau United are the 19th champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League after beating Rangers International 2-0 in the final match at the Rwan Pam Stadium in Jos. They also pocketed the N50 million prize money at stake.

CHAMPIONS…NFF President, Amaju Pinnick (third from left) hands the league trophy to Plateau Utd captain, Golbe Elisha  , as others watch yesterday in Jos

It is the first time they are winning the league diadem. It is the year of the underdog, where a team, which were battling for survival last season, have turned the corner to become the beautiful bride of the Nigerian league.

Plateau United finished top of the 20-team table with 66 points from 38 matches, runners-up MFM lost to El-Kanemi Warriors in Maiduguri and ended up with 62 points, while Enyimba were third with 61 points.

It is the second league championship the city of Jos famous for its tin mines will celebrate after Mighty Jets first won the title in 1972.

The match winner for the Jos darling team was towering young striker Chukwuemeka Umeh, who showed such cool composure right inside the six-yard box before he slotted beyond goalkeeper Itodo Akor.

But the home team had to wait till a minute from full time before substitute Benjamin Turba doubled this lead, when he fired home a loose ball from deep inside the box.

Plateau United striker Kabiru Umar spurned several chances as left winger Peter Eneji tormented the Rangers defence with his dashing runs and crosses.

Rangers took the game to their hosts after the interval, but a goal-bound effort by Bright Silas on 62 minutes was cleared off the goal line to the relief of the expectant sold-out crowd.

At the bottom of the table ABS FC, Gombe United and Remo Stars were relegated.


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