Dominant Yobe Stars see off Kano Pillars
By Joshua Tekidek
A Joel Djondang own goal followed by a second half strike by substitute Abdulmalik Mohammmed ensured Yobe Desert Stars ran out 2-0 winners against Kano Pillars in one of Sunday’s Matchday 12 games played at the August 27th Stadium, Damaturu.
The match marked the return of Yobe Desert Stars to Damaturu after the ground was suspended by the League Management Company (LMC) due to its poor playing pitch.
There was no Junior Lokosa among the startlist for four-time champions Kano Pillars as the league’s leading scorer turned up ill hours before the kickoff. That forced Kano Pillars head coach Ibrahim Musa to name Gambo Mohammed as Nyima Nwagua’s strike partner.
It was a lacklustre first half but the game picked up in the 24th minute when a Shagari Mohammmed’s corner caused a scramble in the visitors’ box and Babatunde Solomon’s effort forced Djondang to head into his own net.
The game again continued in a ding-dong manner until the 31st minute when the home side had two quick chances.
First, Daniel Agwaza thought he had scored the second but Danladi Isah in goal for Pillars made a diving save. Later, from a Yobe free kick, Ali Aliyu’s attempt crashed against the wood work.
The home team were hit a big blow when they were forced to make a change in the 35th minute when Paul Punom who had earlier picked a knock was replaced with Abdulmalik Mohammmed.
Pillars had no shot on target in the first half, the only time they came close was a minute to half time when Nzube Anaezemba headed over the bar from a Chris Madaki corner.
Yobe Desert Stars continue to look for the insurance goal with Mustapha Musa and Chidebere Ajoku coming close in the early period of the second half.
However the goal came in the 71st minute when Abdulmalik Mohammmed beat the offside trap to nod in Ali Aliyu’s cross which came from a counterattacking move. It was a sublime piece of attacking football by Yobe Stars.
Three minutes later Mohammed Baba Ganaru’s boys came close again, this time, subtitute Philip Asuquo who was clean through on goal and had all time to strike, but he instead shot straight at Danladi Isah.
Pillars coach Musa made a double change bringing in Nazifi Yahaya and Mustapha Salisu for Nwagua and Alassan Ibrahim respectively but that did not turn their fortunes around.
It was a poor Pillars outing where they failed to record a shot on target and were woeful.
The result means Yobe Stars have maintained their 100 per cent home record and will next travel to Sunshine Stars while Pillars will host Niger Tornadoes.
Yobe Desert Stars: Itodo Akor; Usman Ali, Agwaza Daniel, Mustapha Musa, Anyanwu Nnaemeka, Babatunde Solomon, Funom Paul (Abdulmalik Mohammmed 35’), Chinedu Ohanochom (Ostia Uchendu 84’), Ajoku Chidebere, Shagari Mohammmed (Philip Asuquo 69’)
Subs not used: Paul Godwin; Moses Tsehlean, Philip Auta, Bashir Azado
Caution: Agwaza Daniel 3’, Ohanochom Chinedu 50’
Goal: Joel Djondang 24′ (og), Abdulmalik Mohammmed 71’
Kano Pillars: Danladi Isah; Victor Denis, Chris Madaki, Joel Djondang, Ifeanyi Nweke, Jamil Mohammmed, Nzube Anaezemba, Alassan Ibrahim (Mustapha Salisu 77’), Gambo Mohammmed (Adamu Hassan 60’), Rabiu Ali, Nwagua Nyima
Subs not used: David Obiazo; Adamu Murtala, Kamal Sikiru, Junior Lokosa.
Caution: Victor Dennis 75’
Venue: August 27 Stadium, Damaturu