Musa bemoans Kano Pillars draw with Rivers United

Kano Pillars head coach Ibrahim Musa blamed ill-luck and poor finishing after his team came from behind to force 10-man Rivers United to a 1-1 draw in Sunday’s NPFL match at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.

The Matchday 23 fixture of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) saw lots of action and exciting moments but produced two goals from the many chances created. The home team were the most guilty of wastefulness, having dominated possession for most part of the game.

Musa estimated that no fewer than 10 glaring scoring chances were blown by his boys and concluded that if two or three of such opportunities were converted, Pillars would have come out successful.

“We lost the game owing to poor tactical ability in front of goal. I feel we were unlucky not to grab maximum points, but we are still poised for a top-three finish,” Musa

League’s top scorer Junior Lokosa and skipper Rabiu Ali were both involved in early offensives, but blasted their efforts wide off the mark inside the first 10 minutes.

Rivers United then launched an attack in the 8th minute to earn their first corner kick but two minutes later, Oche Salefu was cautioned for dissent and in the next two minutes, Rivers United hit a fruitful counter attack to take the lead.

Markson Ojobo had delivered perfectly for Osita Chikere, whose free header hit the roof of the net to put Rivers United in front.

Pillars showed resilience afterwards with Nzube Anaezemba more aggressive as he tried to tame his former club. His succession of strikes was parried by goalkeeper Nwabulu.

Other efforts by Nwagua Nyima, Chris Madaki and Ikenna Paul Hillary kept the goalkeeper busy throughout the first stanza.

Kano Pillars were quick off the block in the second half and the result came just two minutes after resumption. Nwagua combined well with Rabiu Ali, before the former set up Junior Lokosa, who fired-in from close range to put his team on level terms. It was his 19th goal of the season.

‘Sai Masu Gida’ were subsequently motivated to take the lead, having intensified the pressure on their guests, however they lacked the ability to convert their many chances which eventually dragged the game to a stalemate affair.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men, when Musa Newman was giving the matching order by the centre referee.

Despite the dropped points, Musa vowed to keep the push for the title, insisting that picking a point on a day they were supposed to close the points deficit with league leaders Lobi Stars is not a discouraging factor.

“We did our best but couldn’t achieve our target, but we will keep the push until the last day of the contest and hopefully something good is on the card for us,” Musa noted.

Rivers United technical adviser, Stanley Eguma praised his players and said the result at the Sani Abacha Stadium did not come as a surprise.

“We dropped points in our last game at home to Sunshine Stars and our initial aim on arrival in Kano was to get those dropped points as our objective was an outright win,” stated Eguma.

Kano Pillars are third on the league table with 38 points from 24 rounds of games, five points adrift of leaders Lobi Stars. While Rivers United are positioned 9th, having amassed 34 points from 24 matches.