NPFL champions, Enyimba, have been eliminated from the ongoing Naija Super 8 tournament in Lagos after a shock 2-1 defeat to Katsina United but the jostle for the semi-final tickets in Group A will go down the wire after Sporting Lagos also beat Remo Stars 2-1 at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena on Tuesday.
After a goalless first half, Katsina United raced to a two-goal lead inside two minutes, with Ibrahim Yahaya scoring first in the 54th minute, while Nazifi Yahaya added the second from the spot in the 56th minute after Somari Alalibo handled the ball in the box.
Fatai Abdulahi pulled one back for the People’s Elephant at the death, but it was only a consolation as Finidi George’s men were eliminated in the group stages following two defeats and a draw.
“We need rest. We have to think about how we can get some good rest and prepare for next season. Congratulations to those who have qualified and I wish them the best,” Finidi said in his post-match interview.
In the first game, Chiemeka Nwokeji scored in stoppage time from the rebound of a missed penalty as 10-man Sporting Lagos beat Remo Stars 2-1 to take the Southwest derby bragging rights.
The intensity of the game grew in the second half and when the derby was seemingly heading for a draw, substitute Jonathan Alukwu won a penalty at the death to give Sporting the advantage to grab their first win. Chiemeka scored the rebound of the spot kick after his initial effort was kept out.
There was still more time for drama in the game, as Sporting goalkeeper Christian Nwoke was sent off for a second bookable offence but his team held on for a famous win against their potential Southwest rivals ahead of next season.
With one game left in Group A between them, Sporting and Katsina have four points each and they hold the advantage of making it into the semi-finals ahead of their meeting on Thursday. A draw in that game will also mean elimination for Remo, who currently have four points after three matches.