- Published on Sunday, 02 April 2017 20:19
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By Joshua Tekidek
Samuel Mathias 53rd minute goal ensured that El-Kanemi Warriors maintained the 100 percent home winning streak in the ongoing NPFL season.
The game which was played on Sunday afternoon at the Maiduguri township stadium witnessed an unprecedented number of spectators.
El-Kanemi settled the quicker of the two teams and their first chance came in the third minute when Bello Kofarmata broke through and forced Yusuf Mohammed into a low save.
Nine minutes later it was the turn of George Micheal to make a superb save to deny Pillars as their pressure resulted into quick double corner.
Pillars did not relents and the NPFL U-17 draft, Nazifi Yahaya was in the thick of their onslaught. In a counter offensive, Yahaya launched a cross that was cleared by the Warrriours defense. At the other end Promise James was denied a goal as Mohammed made a flying dive to parry out his great strike.
However the better chance of the half came on the 33rd minute when Agahoha Otakho thought he had given his side the lead with a strike that was cleared before it would cross the line having already beaten Mohammed. Mathias needed to give it a little push but unfortunately kicked it wide off target.
Both sides showed brilliance in the first half but it was their finishing that let them down.
While the first half was 50-50, the second half was dominated by El-Kanemi from beginning to finish.
Coach Ladan Bosso made an early substitute. He brought on Sunday Anthony for Hashimu Haliru. That made the difference as the young midfielder changed the game with his dribbling runs and ball passing.
A long free kick from the El-Kanemi half landed on the edge of Pillars box, there was a struggle and it was Mathias who picked and chipped the ball over goalkeeper Mohammed who was off his line. The goal caused an eruption of joyous howls in the stands with fans reeling in wild jubilation. That was on the 53rd minute.
Mathias almost got his brace two minutes later when his free kick from almost the same spot went just inches over the bar.
Despite Kadiri Ikhana bringing in Ibrahim Alhassan and Amos Gyan for Musa Najare and Kabiru Balogun, El-Kanemi continued to dominate recording missed chances from Sunday Anthony and Isiaka Olawale.
The win means the Warriors are now second on the log with 30 points while Kano Pillars drop to 8 position with 24 points thou with a game at hand.
El-Kanemi: George Micheal, Promise James, Tswanya Samuel (Tswanya Samuel 90'), Aghoha Otakho, Mohammed Hussaini, Lucky Erimuya, Hussaini Bata, Hashimu Haliru (Sunday Anthony 50') Bello Kofarmata (Olawale Isiaka 76') Efe Yarhere, Samuel Mathias
Subs not used: Usman Mohammed, Tchoanfine Pada, Bashir Azado, Abraham Audu
Kano Pillars: Yusuf Mohammed, Bala Zakka, Aloma Idris, Emmanuel Anyawu, Chinedu Udoji, Mohammed Jiya, Sikiru Kamalu, Kabir Balogun (Amos Gyang 86'), Rabiu Ali, Nazifi Yahaya (Nazifi Yahaya 61'), Musa Najare (Ibrahim Alhassan 74')
Subs not used: David Obiazo, Fahad Usman, Jamiiu Alimi, Musa Saidu
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