Saturday, February 15, 2014

Kano Pillars crash out of ACL

Nigerian champions, Kano Pillars, have been dumped out of the 2014 African [Caf] Champions League by DR Congo's AS Vita on 3-4 aggregate.

Okey Emordi's men battled from a goal down in the return leg on Saturday to win 2-1 on the day but the win was just not enough to see them tie the clash and force it into extra time.

AS Vita stunned their hosts, whom they defeated 3-1 in Kinshasa last weekend, with an early goal.

The game had barely started inside the packed Sani Abacha Stadium when AS Vita took the lead inside three minutes through Etekiama Agiti.

The Nigerian champions tried to put life in the contest but on a number of occasions just could not string together accurate passes in spite of having Chan Eagles duo, Rabiu Ali and Abdullahi Shehu, in the middle of the pack.

Ten minutes before the break, Kano Pillars forward, Gambo Muhammad had a sight at goal but missed.

Just before half time, Pillars right-back Promise James got himself into a clear sight of goal and just failed to hit target to put the Masu Gida on level terms.

Fifteen minutes into the restart, Emordi sent on former Heartland man, Kabiru Umar to replace Ezekiel Mbah and it paid off six minutes later.

Umar rose high enough to nod Kano Pillars level on the day.

Six minutes later, another former Heartland man, Abdul Haruna, handed the Nigerian champions a lifeline by scoring the second to make the aggregate score 3-4 with Pillars needing a goal to level the tie.

On 78 minutes, Nigeria midfielder, Rabiu Ali, came close to scoring the leveller but he could only watch as his toe-poked effort flew over the post.

AS Vita went under the cosh in the last 10 minutes but kept their composure to oust the Nigerian champions in the preliminary round of this year's Caf Champions League.

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