Kano Pillars continued their push for the Nigeria Professional Football League title on Sunday, subduing Lobi Stars 3-0 at the Sani Abacha Stadium.
Sai Masu Gida’s hopes of emerging as champions had suffered a massive blow following their 2-1 defeat to MFM FC in Lagos in their last time out.
Against the Ortom Boys, they got their act together to hit three past Kabiru Dogo’s men in the keenly contested game in Kano.
In a game characterised by several misses from the hosts, it was Umar Hassan who put Kano Pillars ahead in the 37th minute after putting the ball past goalkeeper Mustapha Aliko.
Despite a desperate push by the visiting side for an equaliser, the first half ended 1-0 in favour of Ibrahim Musa’s team.
Four minutes into the second half, Pillars raced into a two-goal lead courtesy of David Ebuka, who profited from some shambolic defending by Lobi defenders.
Rabiu Ali put the game past Dogo’s side with his team’s third goal three minutes after the hour mark.
The visitors put up a brave fight, but they were unable to launch a comeback as goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo put up a commanding display in between Pillars’ goalposts.
Although former Leicester City and CSKA Moscow star Ahmed Musa was on parade from start to finish, he could not register his name on the goalscorer’s sheet.
Even at that, he gave Lobi Stars’ backline restless moments with his darting speed and trickery.
With this win, Kano Pillars climbed to second on the table having accrued 55 points from 31 games – two points behind Akwa United who occupy the summit of the NPFL table.
Kennedy Boboye’s Promise Keepers stuttered in the title race having been held to a 0-0 by Plateau United, who are currently ranked ninth.
Kano Pillars continue their chase for a fifth Nigerian elite division diadem when they travel to relegation-threatened Sunshine Stars on July 11.
NPFL RESULTS AT A GLANCE
Adamawa United 1-1 MFM FC
Enyimba 1-1 Rivers United
Kano Pillars 3-0 Lobi Stars
Katsina United 3-0 FC Ifeanyi Ubah
Kwara United 2-0 Enugu Rangers
Plateau United 0-0 Akwa United
Warri Wolves 2-0 Abia Warriors
Wikki Tourist 2-1 Dakkada FC
HEARTLAND 0-1 Sunshine Stars