Adelani’s goal earns Go Round slim victory over Kano Pillars
By Sanipe Damiete
Go Round FC put up a scintillating performance to put to sword hard fighting Kano Pillars as they triumphed 2-1 in a nail-biting Matchday 6 fixture of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at the Krisdera Hotel Stadium in Omoku on Wednesday.
After a cagey opening moment, Go Round shot into the lead in the 33rd minute when a long throw-in from Ebuka Akobundu into the box was flicked by an opponent defender before Otega popped up at the far post to head home the opener.
Pillars fought back, mounting pressure on the home side with series of shots at goal from Nzube Anaezemba and Yusuf Maigoro that were blocked.
A sustained pressure from Pillars for about five minutes made life difficult for Go Round who were pegged back and defended frantically and in one instance conceded a free kick on the edge of the box deep into the halftime stoppage time.
Veteran midfield maestro Rabiu Ali stood over the free kick and delivered a delightful strike that beat goalkeeper Godwin Dede with a little deflection from the wall for the equalizer. That was the last action of the first half as both teams went into the break tied at 1-1.
Staring at another home draw which will mean an early place in the relegation zone, ‘Dare the Lions’ took the game to Pillars and the pressure paid off six minutes into the second half when a long clearance from Akaba was misjudged by the Kano Pillars defence under pressure from Shedrack Oghali.
Oghali took the loose ball into the box and lobbed it over two defenders which fell nicely for Adeseun Adelani who struck with a bicycle kick to beat goalkeeper Idris Ibrahim to take the lead once more. Adelani’s goal turned out to be the eventual match winner.
Both teams made changes to their teams and pushed forward in a bid to score as ‘Sai Masu Gida’ sought for an equalizer while the home side defended well to keep out everything thrown at them.
Chidubem Nwagbaga came close in the 61st minute when Akobundu’s cross met him unmarked in the box but his header bounced on the ground before skidding over the bar with the Kano Pillars goalkeeper already beaten.
Pillars keeper Idris Ibrahim also made a reflex save to deny Oghali’s tap in after a brilliant team move freed substitute Samuel Onukwube Stone who did well to beat two defenders, before squaring into the box.
Musa Ahmed and Bature Yaro came on and added urgency and bite to the Pillars front line and did come close in the closing moments.
Musa created space for himself down the right and crossed invitingly into the box but there was no Pillars player to connect.
Rabiu Ali did a one-two with Gambo Mohammed and received a delightful lay-off but his cracking effort went inches off target. Gambo Mohammed also received a pass on the edge of the box and with his back to goal, he managed to shake off his marker and released a fierce shot that narrowly missed target.
Pillars had the last opportunity when a free kick was conceded by Go Round just outside the box. Ali left it for Yaro who took a delightful strike aiming for the angle but goalkeeper Dede ensured Go Round’s lead remained intact.
Go Round: Godwin Dede, Akubundu Ebuka, Philip David, Chukwu Morice, Adeleke Adekunle, Akaba Otega, Adelani Adeseun(Ifeanyi Anyanwu 79′), Sadiq Rilwan, Nwogbaga Chidubem(Samuel Onukwube 76′), Worlu Stanley(Chinda Chinonye 70′), Oghali Shedrack
Unused subs: Nwanumah Arthur; Kpekpe Chris, Akinwale Ogunjobi, Ochuba Henry
Coach: Willy Udube
GOALS: Akaba Otega 33′, Adelani Adeseun 51′
Yellow cards: NIL
Kano Pillars: Idris Ibrahim; Victor Dennis, Chris Madaki, Adeshola David, Emma Anyanwu, Sunday Chinedu, Nzube Anaezemba (David Ebuka 58′), Rabiu Ali, Yusuf Maigoro(Bature Yaro 58′, Gambo Mohammed, Adamu Hassan (Musa Ahmed 72′)
Unused subs: Danladi Isah; Ifeanyi Nweke, Ugochukwu Austin, Auwal Malam
Coach: Ibrahim Musa
GOAL: Rabiu Ali 45′
Yellow cards: Yusuf Maigoro 45′, Chris Madaki 60′
Go Round 2-1 Pillars #GORPIL
On target: 5-2
Corner kick: 5-1
Man of the match: Adelani Adeseun