By Abdul Raheem
Rangers International of Enugu were forced by home side, Kano Pillars to a draw even as Pillars were reduced to 10 men in the last 20 minutes. It was one of the MatchDay 14 fixtures of the 2020/2021 NPFL season played at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.
Rangers opened scoring in the 9th minute when Ernest Governor rose highest among other Rangers players to nod home a free kick giving Coach Salisu Yusuf, a former Pillars coach, a sweet home coming.
The goal brought The Sai Maisu Gida alive as they launched series of attacks into Rangers area until Auwalu Ali Malam sent a grounder of a free kick beyond goalkeeper Nana Bonsu for Pillars’ equaliser three minutes from half time.
Midfielder Yusuf Bala Maigoro was given straight red card after pulling down a Rangers player who was goal-bound.
Pillars, who sought their seventh consecutive home win of the season, were dazed as Rangers dominated early proceedings with a well coordinated play leading to the goal.
The Sai Maisu Gida saw their impregnable home fortress breached for the first time this season and they showed their displeasure with series of forays into Rangers box.
The home side lost series of chances to equalize including a Rabiu Ali free kick that flew directly to the goalkeeper and a failure of the Pillars attack to connect a begging pullout across goal.
Then, in another instance, David Ebuka would turn his marker only to drag his left foot shot wide, followed by Ndasi Kadiang and Ebuka missing begging chances.
Speaking after the match, Pillars Coach, Lionel Soccia commended his players for playing well to get a hard draw in a tough match. He said they had chances on goal but could not convert them.
For Rangers International Head Coach, Salisu Yusuf, he was satisfied with the result. “We know it is going to be a tough match because Pillars have been very strong. It was a good game for us, we have a point.”
Kano Pillars FC Team List Idris Ibrahim GK 1.Mustapha Jibrin 20.Chris Madaki 11.Gerome Hechong 32.Ndasi Denis Kadiang 2.Auwalu Ali Malam 17.Bright Silas 16.Nwagua Nyima 28.Yusuf Bala Maigoro 31.Rabi’u Ali (c) 10.David Ebuka 24.
SubstituteJoshua Enaholo 12.Sunday Chinedu 26.Usman Babalolo 13.Ike Chinedu 4.Achibi Ewenike 29.Abdullahi Ali 36.Umar Hassan 38.Abbas Rabi’u 33.Fahad Usman 30.
TA.. Emmanuel Lionel Soccia.CC.. Ibrahim A. Musa.C.. Ahmad Garba Yaro Yaro.GT… Muzammil Aliyu.MO…Lurwanu Idris Malikawa.
Rangers International team list Nana Bonsu -25
Osas Okoro -12Timothy Simon -34Esor Achibong -28Chidiebere Nwobodo -31Tony Shimaga -26John Uche -4Ernest Governor -24Godspower Aniefiok -11Chiamaka Madu-30Christian Nnaji -9
SUBSTITUTESSeidu Mutawakilu -1Tony Eliagwu -37Ifeanyi Okoro -3Dauda Madaki -19Ugochukwu Ugwuoke -10Ebuka Anthony -33Christian Madu -21
T.A: SALISU YUSUFC.C: MBWAS MANGUTM.O: OKOLIE NORBERT.
Man of the match; Kano Pillars Auwalu Ali Malam was voted man of the match for his work rate and untiring displays in Pillars attack which culminated in his goal.
Cautions:Two Rangers players Osas Okoro and Tony Shimaga bagged yellow cards for misconduct, Pillars’ Chris Madaki also got yellow card for foul play, while Yusuf Bala Maigoro bagged straight red card.
Match Statistics: Kano Pillars/Rangers International
Shots on target 7/2
Free kicks 14/8
Yellow cards 1/2
Red cards 1/0
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