Rivers United capped off a remarkable season on Sunday with a stunning 2-1 win over Akwa United at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium in Uyo on Sunday.
The Port Harcourt club started the day in second place and knew they had to win to guarantee themselves a place on the continent.
Obomate Frederick and Guy Kuemian scored for Rivers United either side of halftime while Fortune Omoniwari claimed the consolation for the visitors.
Afterwards, a relieved Rivers United manager, Stanley Eguma spoke about a difficult season which ended in positive fashion.
“We suffered a lot but I thank God that we have been vindicated in the end.
“This club came into existence just days before the season commenced and we were a lot of people’s favourites to be relegated.
“We however knew what we were about and stood true to our values of hard work, discipline and total trust in God.
“Today, the result is there for all to see.
“To have gone into the final day (of the season) still with a chance to win the league is no mean feat.
“It is a pity we did not win the league title but it is quite clear that we performed much better than a lot of people thought we would,” he said.
Rivers United finished their first ever season in the Nigerian top-flight in second place with 60 points from 36 matches, and will now compete in the 2017 CAF Champions League.