Nasarawa Shatter Pillars’ 12-Year Home Record

It has been a world record that was not celebrated
globally but Kano Pillars eventually lost their 12-year
invincibility to Nasarawa United in one of the Glo Premier
League Match Day 25 fixtures at the Sani Abacha
Stadium, one of the twin home grounds where they
simply would not be defeated. Not until Sunday evening.
Nasarawa United broke the Pillars on their own turf with
two first half goals which Rabiu Ali halved in the second
period.
The defeat also tells the story of the champions in a
season they have failed to lift their game, re-enact their
usual rally to come from behind and claim the stake as
they have done these past four seasons. Pillars not only
hold the record of invincibility on their home ground but
the bragging rights of emerging the only side in the
modern era to claim the league title four times on the
trot. The title is also almost as good as gone with
Sunshine Stars and Enyimba International setting the
pace.
An interesting angle to the Pillars tale is that of their
manager, Mohammed Baba Ganaru. After winning the
league title with Kano Pillars in the 2012/13 season, he
left the club to join Nasarawa United, turning his back on
the CAF Champions League lure. In his second season at
Nasarawa, Ganaru elected to return to Kano mid-season
and despite the uproar his choice caused, he settled
down to reverse what was looking like a Pillars downward
spiral winning his first three games and drawing one
before losing to perennial rivals, Enyimba International on
Match Day 24. The clash with Nasarawa United was to
complete his five-match mandate and it turned out to be
the one that bit the dust.
Nasarawa United showed early intent in the 12th minute
when a former Pillars striker, Mannir Ubale received a
through pass from Eugene Obi and placed perfectly to the
right corner of the net. Four minutes later Bature Yaro
made it 2-0 from a super delivery by the classy Ubale.
The boys from Lafia held on to a 2-0 half time lead
though the Sai Masu Gida did heap some pressure before
the break as strikes from Rabiu Ali, Adamu Mohammed
and Moses Ekpai failed to hit target with goalkeeper
Danladi showing reflexes.
Pillars pulled one back on resumption in the 46th minute.
It was Rabiu Ali who scored from a loose ball in a
goalmouth scramble after goalkeeper Danladi
miscalculated in his effort to parry a delivery. The hosts
continued to attack as Ganaru made quick changes,
introducing Azeez Shobowale and Gambo Mohammed,
pulling out Adamu Hassan and Eneji Otekpa. It was not
enough to weaken the visitors formidable resolve at the
rear which proved tough for Pillars to unlock. Gambo was
returning to his first league game to after six months on
the sideline with a shoulder injury occasioned by the
unfortunate robbery attack on their trip for the first game
of the season.
Nasarawa United would have made it three with a
counter-attack in the last moments of the game, but
Ugochukwu Leonard was not lucky enough missing target
with few inches.
Five minutes added time was not sufficient for Pillars as
their guests made it defensive business and finally broke
a sacred record of over a decade.
Pillars will now travel to Jalingo for a date with FC Taraba
after two losses on the trot while Nasarawa United play
host to Kwara United on match day 26 on Sunday 30th
August.


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