Kano Pillars 0-1 Heartland: Heartland Qualify For CAF Champions League Final In Style

Nigeria's Heartland are through to the final of this year's CAF Champions League...

Heartland on Saturday qualified for the final of this year's CAF Champions League on a 5-0 aggregate after they beat hosts Kano Pillars 1-0 in the return leg at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.

Uche Agba netted the winner from over 25 yards in the 89th minute.

The Owerri club will now await the overall winner of the other semi-final between TP Mazembe of DR Congo and Al Hilal of Sudan.
However, this all-Nigerian clash was marred by crowd trouble, forcing the match to be stopped by over 10 minutes when Heartland fans had to scamper out of their seats when they were attacked by rival fans.

Pillars, who had the previous day suspended Slovenian coach, Ivo Sajh, for what they described as his "unguarded utterances", created several chances, but failed to convert any of them mostly as a result of poor finishing.

The Heartland defence, led by skipper Ike ThankGod, also did their bit to ensure they posted a clean sheet to the disappointment of the capacity crowd.

Goalkeeper Austin Brown proved to be a big stumbling block between Pillars and victory.

In the first half, Moses Ogaga failed to direct his free header from inside the box at target as Pillars piled on the pressure in search of the opening goal.

Heartland by no means stayed back in their defence as they also launched several attacks of their won. Two-goal hero from the first clash, Agba tested the agility of Theophilus Joel early in the second half with a swerving free kick.

Zambian striker Signs Chibambo also saw his chip over a diving Joel fly over the bar and late on, Emeka Nwanna almost drew first blood for the visitors, but his final effort crashed against the side netting.

But overall, the best openings fell to the home side. The team's leading scorer in the Champions League, Victor Namo, forced at least three saves from the Heartland goalkeeper with the most notable being in the 62nd minute, when Brown had to spectacularly block the striker's shot from the top of the box.

Bello Kofarmata and Ogaga also had chances to get on the score sheet, but their finishing let them down even inside the box.

And just when it looked like this match-up will finish in a draw, Agba stunning effort bounced right in front of goalkeeper Joel for the only goal of the day. It was Agba's sixth goal of the Champions League.

Samm Audu, Goal.com