KanoPillars came back to even a 2 goal deficit and partly took their pound of flesh gainst Lobi Stars in an NPFL Match Day 23 fixture inside the main bowl of The Aper Any Stadium Makurdi.
Recall Lobi Stars had emerged victorious against Pillars in Match in Sani Abacha Stadium in a Match Day 3 derby in Kano, the come back put smiles on the faces of Pillars but rather widen the chase gap between Lobi Stars and the 2 other contenders by 3 and 2 points respectively.
Game kicked off 3:55 PM, 5 minutes earlier than official kick off time by Lobi Stars who started with a sparkling zeal. Lobi Stars kept the tempo against the visitors who seemed to have paraded a crack defense. The defense of Pillars received an upper cut in the 8th minute when Lobi Stars Carlos Galeye received a short corner kick from Nzube Anaezemba, drives the ball pass the first defender to his left and thundered a power packed shot from about 25 mitres to find the roof top of the net that leaves Goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo of Pillars in awe as Lobi Stars took the lead.
15 minute A clinical build up found Carlos Galeye once again in the middle of Pillars defense his first touch dribble run beat two flanking Pillars defenders and was face to face with Goalkeeper Enaholo but he shot against his stretched foot but the ball unfortunately landed in the location of attacking conscious Lazarus John whose goal bound race in was obstructed by Pillars Fahad Usman inside the penalty area for penalty kick, Samad Kadiri made no mistake in making the score line 2 goals in favour of Lobi Stars.
The goal scoring zeal of the home lads had slowed down after the 2 early goals. A corner kick for Pillars in 41st minute found the head of Pillars defender Like Chinedu who headed above the head of Goalkeeper Faith James. Faith was guilty of not going for the ball that gave the visitors the first pull back goal. The Centre Referee call halftime at 45+1 as score line at first half stood at 2-1 in favour of Lobi Stars.
Play resumes 4:58 this time started by Pillars, Lobi Stars took over and relaunch the incursions that faded away after the 2 early goals. Moment after moment coming close to increase the goal tally but Pillars defense put their lives on the line to avoid conceding more goals.
John Lazarus received a yellow card after tackle considered to be dangerous by Referee Amadi James in 57 minute. 2 minutes later Pillars did their first sub to add bite as Usman Babalolo stepped out for Achibi Chibuike Ewenike.
The leveller came in 67th minute when Pillars 17 shirted Auwalu Ali was found unmarked on the right side, received a passed from his team mate race in and kicked a not too strong shot but properly directed to the far side that gave the Masu Gida boys the second goal to achieve a full come back.
All efforts to get a winner by Lobi Stars couldn’t get it right as Pillars placed final premium on avoiding an extended goal. Second goal penalty hero Samad Kadiri failed to convert the biggest and nearest opportunity to the get a winner for Lobi in the final moments but lost.
Nzube Anaezemba gave way for Chinedu Udeagha in 77th minute to strengthen support to the attack. Lobi Stars kept the pressure as the clock ticks down, final tactical effort was administered by coach Gbenga Ogunbote as Double substitution of Austin Ogunye and Mathias Samuel took over from Carlos Galeye and Douglas Achiv in the 86th minute.
Pillars pulled out Chijioke Alaekwe for Yusuf Maigoro. Lobi Stars put down their lives to get a winner but somehow the goal didn’t come, not even the 5 minutes added time could make a difference.
45+4 minutes of play, Pillars Nwagwa Nyima was.booked for unsporting behaviour, Referee Amadi James call for end of proceedings as the game ended 2-2 at full time.