Rivers United were Saturday crowned new NPFL champions after closest rivals Plateau United lost 2-1 at Akwa United to give the Port Harcourt side an unassailable lead with three rounds of matches still to be played.
Rivers United, who play away at Nasarawa United Sunday, now have 71 points from 34 matches, 10 points clear of Plateau United, who have played 35 matches, while Remo Stars are a distant third on 53 points.
The championship win has thus qualified them to represent Nigeria in the 2022/2023 CAF Champions League.
This will be the first major honour for Rivers United since they were formed following a merger of Port Harcourt two top clubs – Dolphins and Sharks – in 2016
They are owned by oil-rich Rivers State Government, who have made them one of the best professionally run clubs in Nigeria.
NPFL joint leading scorer Chijoke Akuneto, who has 16 goals and winger Ishaq Kayode, who has netted 15 goals, both feature for ‘The Pride of Rivers’.
Last season, Rivers United were runners-up to another club financed by an oil-rich government, Akwa United.
They failed to reach the group rounds of the CAF Champions League.