Saturday, November 06, 2010

Kaduna, Pillars open NPL in stalemate


Kaduna United and Kano Pillars began their campaign in this season’s Nigeria Premier League (NPL) with a 1 – 1 draw inside the Kaduna Township Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
With almost the 10,000 seats of the Kaduna ground filled, Kano Pillars set the tone for the afternoon when Rabiu Ali struck inside half an hour of the game before Siman Yusuf levelled the game just eight minutes before the break.
It was Kano Pillars that claimed the honour of scoring the first goal of the 2010/2011 Premier League season when Ali volleyed from outside the box of Kaduna United to give his side the lead.
Kano Pillars showed no sign of missing Ahmed Musa after Ali was played on from a flick before he unleashed a powerful left drive to beat goalkeeper Richard Ochayi after a great start to the game.
But that lead was cut short within eight minutes, Siman Yusuf silenced the travelling contingent inside the stadium after midfielder Sani Aruwa played him through on goal.
Yusuf’s accuracy, composure and pace ensured that he dispatched the ball past Kano Pillars goalkeeper, Theophilus Afelokhai, to leave score at one apiece at half time.
The home side’s confidence surged immediately they got the equaliser though nothing came out of their late siege to Pillars’ goal.
But Pillars had enough time to bring on striker Gambo Mohammed on the stroke of half time.
However, it was the away side that got off the blocks fastest with quick short passes and attempts at goal.
At the other end, Jude Aneke was clear on goal on 58 minutes but held on to the ball for too rather than shoot before Pillars’ left wing back, John Yampe, took the ball off him.
Attempts by Kano Pillars’ coach to win the game saw him throw in John Huan and Joseph Thompson.
It was Aneke that was the culprit, as he failed to make three scoring chances count with his profligacy at goal leaving the score to end at 1 – 1.
Nine matches will be played tomorrow at different centres in the country.

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