Eagles Hold Pillars In Abuja

Nigeria’s Super Eagles had their best test on Monday since camp opened three weeks ago, when they played a 2-2 draw against back to back Nigeria Premier League champions, Kano Pillars of Kano.
The game which was played at the mainbowl of the Abuja National Stadium, attracted just a few fans including NFF Director of Competitions, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, Pillars Management Committee boss, Dr Abba Yola and the national Women’s U-20 team, known as the Falconets, complete with their technical crew and staff at the stadium.
The Eagles technical crew started the encounter with the best squad, as Chigozie Agbim, Solomon Kwambe, Ebenezer Odunlami, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Ikenna Paul, Ugonna Izuchukwu, Benjamin Francis, Rabiu Ali, Abubakar Ali, Uzoenyi Ejike and Ifeanyi Ede all started.
With just five minutes into the match, the Eagles forced a free kick after Uzoenyi was harshly brought down close in the vital area.
He opted to take the kick himself and his deft left foot found the head of towering Egwuekwe, whose header was helped into the net by Abubakar Ali.
The league champions, led by Chief Coach Abdulahi Abdulmakabi regrouped quickly and forced a penalty 5 minutes later, when they raided the Eagles vital area. In the process, a defender was adjudged to have been handled the ball. The resultant penalty was neatly tucked in by Bello Kofamata, who turned out to be the hatchet man for the league champions.
As the Eagles were thinking of a counter attack, it was Kofamata, who struck again in the 21st minute. A quick throw from goalkeeper Joseph Ewuga found Saliu Nura, who outpaced the Eagles defence to find Kofamata, who was too delighted to hit home.
The Eagles reacted almost immediately when Rabiu Aliu and Abubakar Ali’s exchanged passes before the ball found the chest of Aliu, who riffled home sweetly in the 40th minute. The 2-2 draw at the end of the first half was eventually the final goal of the exciting encounter.
The second half inclusion of Christian Pyagbara, Barnabas Imenger, Ikechukwu Azubuike, Ejiro Etebor, Bright Esieme, Aliyu Obaje and goalkeeper Dele Alampasu brought some sparkles, but no goal was scored.
Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi however declared that he was happy with what he saw of his CHAN bound players.
Abdulamakabi, the Pillars’ handler declared that it was a testy duel, and that his players whom he said know all the Eagles stars, gave their all. He added that the Eagles will go far at the CHAN tourney in South Africa.


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