By Ijeoma Okigbo
Naija Ratels Football Club of Makurdi on Tuesday won the 2021 Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Championship after a 1-1 draw with Adamawa Queens of Yola.
The seven-day tournament which had five teams participating saw Naira Ratels ending the championship with 10 points from four games after three wins and a draw.
Adamawa Queens came second with eight points from four matches.
This result, however, earned both teams qualification to the 2021/2022 Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL).
Having both gained qualification to the NWPL, both teams had only bragging rights to play for.
Coming into the match on nine points, Naija Ratels needed a win or draw to claim the title while only a victory would ensure Adamawa Queens clinched the trophy.
The game started with both teams trying to outdo one another, but they were unable to produce any goal in the first half.
The second half began with Adanna Nwachukwu of Naira Ratels scoring a brilliant goal from a loose ball inside their opponents’ penalty box.
She put the ball between goalkeeper Osinachi Abani’s legs in the 58th minute.
Six minutes later, Bella Nwadike scored from a rebound to equalise for Adamawa Queens.
At the end of the game, Adamawa Queens’ coach Joshua Stephen said he was satisfied with his team’s performance, adding however that the officiating was not fair.
“We played against the referees. It was not fair at all.
“Aside this challenge, I will give kudos to my players and be hopeful that we will make it count in the NWPL,” Stephen added.
On his part, Bankole Olowookere, coach of Naija Ratels, appreciated his players for a job well done.
“I am thankful to God, the club management and the players for making this feat possible.
“We have now qualifed for the Premier League and it means that more work will be done and we will be ready to give it our all in the league,” Olowookere said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Heartland Queens of Owerri and Gallant Queens of Zaria ended third and fourth with five and three points respectively.
Meanwhile, Kwara Ladies who ended bottom in the table have been relegated to the NWFL Nationwide League, after earning a point from four matches. (NAN)