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Editorials, Sports

Sporting Lagos Secures Fairytale Promotion to Nigeria Premier League

Sporting Lagos made it to the Nigeria Premier League for the first time after a two nil win in the NNL playoff group game

  • Toyosi Afolayan
  • 3rd July 2023
Sporting Lagos has etched their name in Nigerian football history with their well-deserved promotion to the Nigeria Premier League. Their remarkable journey and thrilling playoff victory showcase their determination and talent. As they prepare for their next challenge, all eyes will be on Sporting Lagos as they aim to make their mark in the top flight.

Sporting Lagos will play in the Nigeria Premier League for the first time after beating Abeokuta Stormers 2-0 in today’s Nigeria National League Supersix playoff match at Stephen Keshi stadium, earning promotion to Nigeria’s top flight for the first time.


SLFC completed the fairytale journey to the Premier League after securing promotion within two years of their existence, clinching one of the four available slots. Owned by Tech guru and billionaire Shola Akinlade, the Lagos-based club has now joined Kano Pillars, in the next season of the first tier of the Nigeria football league system. While the remaining two slots are still being jostled for.



Their club’s stadium, Mobolaji Johnson Arena, will be home to a top-flight football club for the first time since the 2021/2022 season when MFM FC played there.



Sporting Lagos has now become the latest Lagos club to play in the Nigeria Premier League, with MFM FC, Ikorodu United, Julius Berger and Stationery Stores having had their stadiums in the urban city.




Sporting Lagos went into the game with one leg in the NPFL, having won their first game of the playoffs one-nil against FC One Rocket on Sunday.


The first half of the game was a cagy affair with both sides playing with caution but still managing to create goal-scoring chances. At the blast of the halftime whistle, the score remained goalless with no side getting a breakthrough.


Ten minutes after the resumption of the second half, Sporting took the lead. Rivio Ayemwere rifled a shot from outside of the eighteen-yard box and it deflected past the goalkeeper.


Very late in the game, the drama came into play with the Paul Offor-led boys conceding a penalty kick. Christian however proved to be the hero as he saved the spot kick in the 82nd minute.


Sporting, knowing that a one-goal lead is a precarious one, went on to add a second in the 88th minute through Saturday Okon.


The game went on to finish two-nil, with Christian recording back-to-back clean sheets.




Despite sealing qualification to the NPFL before the final group game, Sporting will still have to play their last Southern Conference game. They face Heartland FC of Owerri on Wednesday 5th of July, 2023 at the Stephen Keshi stadium in Asaba. 



The game will determine the group winner, with Sporting currently on six points while Heartland has four from two games. 


Group winners from the Northern and Southern Conference will play against each other to determine the overall winner of the 2022/2023 season of the Nigeria National League.


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