Rising Stars Football Club of Akure on Friday qualified for the Nationwide League One (NLO) playoffs after emerging group winners, following their Match Day 10 1-0 victory over Ekiti United.
The match played at the Ondo State Sports Complex in Akure was a cagey affair, and it was drifting towards ending goalless.
Then, a player of the visiting Ekiti United handled the ball in the penalty area, for a penalty kick which Julius Adeyemi converted.
Rising Stars have now qualified for the playoffs scheduled for June 16 at a yet-to-be-picked venue.
Coach Boye Ogunderu of Rising Stars, while speaking after the match, said he was happy his team finally emerged group winners with 14 points to qualify for the playoffs.
“Both teams, Rising Stars and Ekiti United, were equally qualified to play in playoffs, but the best team has emerged,’’ he said.
Ogunderu thanked his assistants and the club’s Team Manager for their support.
He however said the playoffs would be easier for his team because both teams would be playing at a neutral venue and he was sure of eventually qualifying.
The winners of Group C1 and Group C2 in the 2017/2018 NLO will meet in the playoffs.
Winners over one game will qualify for the 2018/2019 Nigeria National League (NNL).
NAN/ Jibril .O