For the second time in four days, Kano Pillars have proved the difference on the road as the Sai Masu Gida moved up to second in the table with an emphatic win at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium against Wikki Tourists on Sunday evening.
Just as to maintain their top four and challenge for the NPFL title, it was Rabiu Ali scored from the spot in the 60th minute before Umar Babablolo wiped in Nwagwa’s cross at the extra time against current table toppers Kwara United in Kaduna last week Wednesday
As expected against a team fighting for their lives a middle quarter of the table and who are always in games, it was a battle throughout with the Bauchi elephants never entirely comfortable.
It was the hosts who started the game off on the front foot, with Nazifi Yahaya firing’s Matthew Emmanuel penetrated pass on target inside the first two minutes.
After a slow opening, Kano Pillars began to take hold of the proceedings and looked dangerous in possession as the Sai Masu Gida zipped the ball from side to side. That momentum resulted in Rabiu Ali smashing a shot against the post just after 10 minutes when he unleashed one from outside the box.
Three minutes later Kano Pillars stunned the host in their backyard. Mustapha Jibrin was at the heart of it, popping up on the left-wing and centring the ball into the box, where the Wikki Tourists goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali spilt it into the path of an eagerly waiting Ebuka David. The top man thumped the ball into the net from close range to the lead scoreline.
Usman Abd]allah’s men continued on the front foot despite the trailing the visitors, with Ismail Maiyaki forcing Joshua Enaholo into a full-length save, while at the other end Bright Silas and Sunday Chinedu may have felt disappointed that their respective headers inside the box failed to hit the target.
Three to the half-hour mark, Jibrin Mustapha picked up the ball from his half and cut it with his right foot before curling in a wonderful effort that gave Ebuka David a chance to bury it under Wikki Tourists goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali on the firing line with no chance in the home goal.
At half hour mark, Wikki Tourist Idris Muhammed Guda fired a low drice shot 300 yards to the goal mouth area, Joshua Enaholo tipped it above the above the crossbar, while on the other end, Nwagua nodded over after he did well to connect with Jibrin Mustapha’s in-swinging cross.
Kano Pillars did look dangerous on the counter, with Jamil Muhammed Jamil’s header from a corner fizzing just wide, while Bright Silas’s driven shot was deflected off target.
However, Usman And’allah men were struggling to find a chance from close range against Kano Pillars’s well-organised backline, and it took a moment of magic to put the Bauchi elephant back into the game on 66 minute Stephen Chukwudi forced his way into the Sai Masu Gida’s box and wiped in a powerful drive from the close range with Salisu Adamu’s pass..
With 15 minutes remaining, Joshua Enaholo was called into action when he made an excellent save to deny Nazifi Yahaya, after the former flying eagles forward hit a driven shot on target.
In the final 10 minutes Wikki Tourists put Kano Pillars under increasing pressure and, after a speculative Promise Damabala volley at the other end, Nazifi Yahaya blazed another chance over on 82 minutes.
The hosts sent in several dangerous crosses in the last knockings as they introduced the dangerous Omofoman Freedom from the bench replacing Idris Muhammed Guda.
Wikki Tourists created two opportunities in injury time but blocks from Chris Madaki and Abdullahi Musa diverted the respective efforts of Promise Dambala and Sale Ibrahim wide.
The centre referee signalled the end of the encounter, meaning Kano Pillars move back to second on the standings with 30 points, while Wikki Tourists remain 13th on the standings with 20 points..