Semi finalists to emerge at Kaduna pre-season tournament

The pre-season tourney in the northern state has proven to be a hunting ground for the NPL teams with all three already assured of places in the last four
Nigeria Premier League (NPL) defending champions, Kano Pillars will be hoping to secure their third straight victory this afternoon at the Kaduna Township Stadium when they face Dynamic Sports Solution(DSS) in their last match of the first round.

Pillars have beaten Ranchers Bees 4-1 and Bakoji Stars 2-1 on Saturday and Sunday respectively and are expected to top the group irrespective of the result of the other game scheduled to be played simultaneously at the same 2pm kick off time at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium between Ranchers Bees and Bakoji Stars.

Ranchers need an outright victory to pick the second ticket while Bakoji will pull through even if a draw.

In Group B, just like Pillars, Kaduna United and Wikki Tourists have proven to be ideal NPL sides after they posted impressive results in the first two days of action and have booked the two semi final tickets at the expense of Ranchers Reserve and Mighty Jets.

With 6 points apiece, both teams will face each other in a match that will only decide group winner and thus avoid Pillars in the semi final. The match is fixed for the Kaduna Township Stadium by 4pm this evening while the second match of the group comes up at the same time at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium between Ranchers Reserve and Mighty Jets.

Speaking on the tournament, the Pillars' technical adviser, Mohammed Baba Ganaru told that the Kano sponsored team decided to take the games seriously as a way of keeping the team fit ahead of a packed programme schedule in the coming months.

He said that Pillars would not play any of the games with complacency as they set their sights on winning it again as a follow up to the one got in Niger Republic recently.

"We are using the Kaduna pre-season as our way of preparing for our upcoming matches and that is the reason why we are not taken it lightly.

"We have seen areas of our strength and weaknesses here in Kaduna and we will continue to work towards perfecting and correcting them in the coming games," Baba Ganaru said.

The semi-final matches hold on Tuesday while the third place and final matches have been fixed for Wednesday.