Sunshine Queens head coach, Matthew Wemimo has said regretfully that her side worked very hard to deserve a place in the 2019 Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL) Super 4.
The Owena Mermaids sat atop of their group for some hours on pretty 11 points after an emphatic 2-0 win against newcomers, Kaduna Queens in Wednesday’s NWPL matchday 6 clash in Akure but hours later on Thursday’s morning the Akure landladies were pegged to the second spot no thanks to 2-2 draw played by the other group’s members, Bayelsa Queens and Nasarawa Amazons in Yenagoa.
The final Group C table showed that the reigning champions, Bayelsa Queens retained the top spot as well as the Super 4 ticket on 11 points same as runners-up, Sunshine Queens but the Restoration Girls had superior goals.
Wemimo said she has now realised that the NWPL matchday 1 clash in Akure which saw her side shockingly sharing the spoils goalless with visitors, Nasarawa Amazons actually cost the Akure landladies the coveted Super 4 ticket.
“Unarguably, our group is the toughest but I thought with the quality of the bench and players we should deservedly top the group. Three of the group’s members – Sunshine Queens, Bayelsa Queens and Nasarawa Amazons actually played the last Super 4 championship.
“Unfortunately, we could not achieve the mark at the end of the day and naturally I’m not happy.
“However, for Sunshine Queens to come out from the tough group on same points with the eventual winners, Bayelsa Queens merely losing the top on goal difference I think we have done quite well.
“We fought hard in all front perhaps our best was not good enough to hand us the Super 4 ticket.
“I think we lost the battle for the Super 4 ticket in our first home match against Nasarawa Amazons which ended barren.
“Besides the questionable 0-1 loss to champions, Bayelsa Queens in matchday 3 clash in Yenagoa.
“If we had picked a well-deserved three points in the first match and even more deserving point in the third match the whole scenario would have been totally different.
“Well, that’s history and nothing can be done to rewrite history as far as the two matches are concerned.
“In the second stanza of the league you can see we did not lose any match that showed how resolute we were to clinch the enviable ticket.
“I think we did our best there is nothing to add or subtract we can only look forward with hope of doing far better in future,” said the 2019 All Africa Games goal medal winning assistant coach to frontpixs.com.
Wemimo said her side will be taking a well deserved rest from their campaign consoled by the fact that they ended the 2018/19 NWPL season on high.
“We have to prepare better for the upcoming season more so as we ended the outgoing season on high.
“We will take a well-deserved break, the players will be free at the moment to consider their future and seek greener pastures elsewhere.
“Of course, the truth remains that not all the players will be retained for the next season,” said Wemimo.
Three teams have already picked the Super 4 tickets – Bayelsa Queens, Adamawa Queens and Confluence Queens, the remaining ticket will be determined after the game between hosts, Rivers Angels and Delta Queens on Thursday.
However, relegation playoffs teams are already known – Osun Babes, Invincible Angels, Dream Stars Ladies and Kaduna Queens, two will survive to continue in the elite league while two will drop to the lower division.
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