Abia Angels head coach, Ann Agumanu-Chiejine, has described as commendable her side runners-up position in the just concluded abridged regular season of the 2018/19 Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL).
The Umuahia Ladies pipped hard-fighting Ibom Angels 1-0 in Wednesday’s NWPL Matchday 6 clash.
Favour Emmanuel scored the match winner for her side in the 41st minute to claim the three points at stake but short of cementing the much sought Super 4 spot no thanks to Confluence Queens’ 4-1 whitewash of newcomers, Invincible Angels in Lokoja.
Chiejine said her side made tremendous progress in the top-flight to rightly target a deserving top spot in the coming season.
“Even though we did not achieve our ultimate mark which is securing the NWPL Super 4 spot, I think our campaign has a seal of good ending. We gave the season’s campaign good fight and for us it ended well.
“Of course, in life we always have our proposition but ultimately it’s in the purview of the Almighty God to dispose, we are human and cannot question God.
“My girls did marvellously well. I give them kudos for standing up against their most experienced opponents.
“I know we lost the chance to clinch the Super 4 ticket when we played a 1-1 draw on home ground against Confluence Queens.
“Last season we narrowly missed the Super 4 spot but this time around we finished boldly on the second position.
“I think we have made a great leap forward and I’m bold to say that we will surely lay a claim to the top spot in the coming season.
“I’m happy our season has a happy ending and I will relish the memory for a long time to come,” said the former Nigerian goalkeeper and coach.
Abia Angels finished second on NWPL Group D log on impressive 10 points one behind group’s winners, Confluence Queens.
The Lokoja side earned the group’s top spot and ticket to the NWPL Super 4 courtesy of a 4-1 thumbing of top-flight debutants, Invincible Angels in Lokoja on Wednesday.
Mercy Omokwo opened the floodgate of goals for her side in the 23rd minute, while Titilayo Aweda grabbed a brace in the 44th and 46th minute and Yina Adoo netted the assurance goal. Victory Onuma scored the consolation for the Gboko side. Invincible Angels will be involved in relegation playoffs as agreed at the Congress of the NWFL before the start of the season.
Adamawa Queens secured the Group B top spot, as well as the Super 4 ticket on 12 points after they were forced to 1-1 draw by hosts and newcomers, Dream Stars Ladies at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.
The Lagos side will engage in relegation playoffs to determine their fate in the top-flight.
In the other group’s clash, Heartland Queens secured a 3-2 win against Edo Queens in Okigwe to guarantee their stay in the top-flight.
In Group A FC Robo Queens grabbed a 4-2 away win against hapless hosts, Osun Babes in Osogbo to chance a first ever Super 4 ticket though the Lagos side must wait at least some hours to be sure of their dream. The duo, Rivers Angels and Delta Queens must first settle their scores on Thursday in Port Harcourt after rain forced a postponement.
Sunshine Queens opened a window for Super 4 spot after they turned back empty-handed visitors, Kaduna Queens, with two unreplied goals in Akure to momentarily climb to the top of Group C log on 11 points.
The Akure side will still have to wait a bit to be sure of their fate as, Bayelsa Queens and Nasarawa Amazons will have to play their own last day match in Yenagoa on Thursday.