.Draw 1-1 With Crown FC In Glo NPL Cracker –
By Tunde Oyedele, Ibadan –
Players of Kano Pillars appear to have put behind them their recent drop in form, and are hell bent to play themselves back into reckoning in the Glo Nigeria Premier League, NPL.
Pillars almost snatched an outright win in Wednesday’s Match Day 11 clash against Crown Football Club of Ogbomosho, but the home side fought back to draw the game 1-1.
“Pillars have to bounce back now, we have no choice and all the players have resolved to play our best games to ensure the club perform well this season”, said the players, led by skipper Rabiu Ali after grabbing a point away from home.
Pillars, who were knocked out of the first round of this year’s CAF Champions league, were in the 16th position with just two wins and five draws before arriving in Ibadan to confront Crown, who are 14th on the log with four wins and two draws so far this season.
The encounter, played at Adamasingba Stadium in Ibadan, saw Crown pushing the ball so hard from the midfield within 5 minutes of play, and could have secured an early goal but strikers Okafor Onyekachi and Bode Daniel often finished poorly each time they had the ball inside Pillars’ vital area.
Pillars, captained by Super Eagles star, Rabiu Ali used the first quarter of the match to assess the weak point of their hosts and played a more defensive pattern.
Seeing that Pillars were more enterprising with their fluid display ably marshalled by Ali, the home supporters changed the tune of their songs and urged their darling team to take the game to the visitors.
Yomi Olaoke almost compensated the supporters for their huge support with a goal when he got the ball deep inside the 8 metre yard in the 18th minute, but he tamely shot wide as goalkeeper Joseph Inuwa was unruffled.
Pillars however came back stronger into the action-packed match as striker Adamu Hassan combined beautifully with Manir Ubale and Azeez Shobowale upfront, forcing goalkeeper Uweru Michael to make some dangerous saves.
The visitors however went ahead in the 32nd minute when Hassan perfectly tucked in Pillars’ goal with a low drive which beat Michael hands down.
From then on, Pillars took charge of the midfield and were better on the ball with deft their touches, but the search for an equaliser put more pressure on Crown players, who wasted the numerous chances created.
Okafor was more a culprit as he missed a chance to score facing only the net after goalkeeper Joseph had been beaten. Yomi Olaoke and Daniel took their turns as Crown FC wasted begging chances in Ibadan.
Defender Segun Ayo however scored from the penalty spot in the 40th minute to level scores for Crown after one of Pillars’ defenders handled the ball inside the box.
The first half ended 1-1, and both teams came back for the second half more determined. Crown Coach Lawrence Akpokona introduced Ike Chukwujekwu and pulled out Daniel hoping the change would add some bite to their attack, while his opposing tactician, Coach Okey Emordi responded by removing Ezekiel Mba for Philip Auta.
The changes were exhausted but no other goal was scored in the fast tempo match, which kept fans of Crown and Pillars on the edge of their seats, while the spectators, including the Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports savoured the free-flowing football on display at Crown’s borrowed Adamasingba Stadium in Ibadan.