By: Godwin Nathaniel
The Presidency Pre-Season Cup got well and truly underway as Kano Pillars went up against Sunshine Stars at the new-look Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja.
The Kano-based side named a strong starting XI, led by ever-green veteran, Rabiu Ali leading from the middle of the park and Abdullahi Musa marshaling the defence.
Sunshine Stars relied on experienced captain Sunday Abe and Ugochukwu Leonard to demystify Kano Pillars.
The Akure Gunners started the brighter of both teams, with attacker Abdul Taofeek terrorizing the opposition. He had missed a couple opportunities before the onslaught changed direction.
Kano Pillars had a brief spell of domination and quickly converted their chance. A brilliant work from Umar Hassan down the left opened up space for a number of Pillars’ forward, but it was Aniekeme Okon who was well-positioned to fire a low shot past the Sunshine goalie to give the Sai Masu Gida side the lead in the 33rd minute.
After moments of battle for domination, Sunshine had a ray of light through Leonard Ugochukwu. His brilliant finish levelled matters.
The lead would only last two minutes as Kano Pillars had their noses Infront in the 56th minute after Sunshine’s GK parried a shot to the path of Umar Hassan, and he cheerfully buried the opportunity.
Coach Ayeni introduced Akin Ayeni and Michael Olalusi but the Owena Waves would find it hard to break down Pillars at the back.
The final nail came on the 76th minute as Kano Pillars were awarded a free kick from 24 yards out. The majestic Rabiu Ali stepped up and curled one into the corner to put the game to rest.
Kano Pillars will take on Lobi Stars on Match day two while Sunshine Stars will hope to rise against Akwa United.