Kano Pillars surrendered three goals lead to bow 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw against Enugu Rangers and head coach Ibrahim Musa attributed the defeat to injuries and loss of concentration.
Sai Masu Gida started like a house of fire, scoring two goals after 20 minutes through Rabiu Ali and Alhassan Ibrahim before the third from Nyima Nwagua in the 48th minute.
In the final 13 minutes, the Flying Antelopes started the fightback with substitute Kelvin Itoya’s screamer before Chidera Ezeh and Ajani Ibrahim completed the unimaginable comeback.
After squandering their title-winning chance, the gaffer is disappointed with his side’s shocking defeat and has accepted responsibility for their poor game management in the second half.
“It was a very surprising result to us all because I told my players during the halftime break that they must not relax,” Musa told media.
“That was because football is not decided by the outcome of the first half. I was not happy when we started having injury problems and I will say it was among the reasons we lost.
"I want to apologies to the governor of Kano State Umar Abdullahi Ganduje and deputy governor for their support to the team.
“We are disappointed by the outcome of the game because it was our desire to win the competition but we must take everything that comes our way as the will of Allah.
“I will say that I have taken responsibility for the loss as the head coach. It was a painful loss. We really desired to win the title but injuries to some of our players and loss of concentration saw Enugu Rangers comeback and we have to move on.”