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Musa’s Kano Pillars stutter in NPFL title race against Jigawa Golden Stars

19:54 BST 13/06/2021
Ahmed Musa - Al Nassr
The Super Eagles captain was in action from start to finish, but could not prevent Sai Masu Gida from losing to the Badaru Boys

Ahmed Musa’s Kano Pillars suffered a massive setback in their quest to win the 2020-21 Nigeria Professional Football League title after losing 1-0 to Jigawa Golden Stars on Sunday evening.

Ali Kalla’s 80th-minute effort was all the Badaru Boys required to subdue the visiting Sai Masu Gida at the Hadejia Township Stadium.

Going into the crunch league outing, Jigawa had gone on an abysmal run that saw them fail to win any of their last seven league games – bowing 2-1 to Heartland in their last time out.

For Pillars, they were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Kennedy Boboye’s title-chasing Akwa United.

In dire need of a win, Ibrahim Musa’s team travelled to Hadejia with the ambition of returning to winning ways.

Five minutes into the game, Olasunkanmi Quadri was cautioned by the centre referee for a clumsy tackle.

The first half produced no goals as chances were few, although it was the visiting side that looked the most promising in attack.

Kano Pillars stepped up their performance in the second half, although they could not get a much-needed goal thanks to impressive defending by Gilbert Opana’s side.

With the game looking destined to end on a no winner, no vanquished note, super-sub Kalla scored the winner after firing past goalkeeper Suraj Ayeleso with ten minutes left on the clock.

Combining effectively with Nwangwa Nyima and Ali, Musa led Pillars’ charge for an equaliser, but they ended up being defeated.

“It was a very difficult game and I am glad that we emerged victorious after 90 minutes,” Opana told the media.

“Kano Pillars are a very strong side with quality players. So, I will say our determination powered us to victory.”

The defeat saw the Sani Abacha Stadium giants drop to third place on the NPFL log, having garnered 49 points from 28 outings.

Akwa United, who silenced Adamawa United 2-0 on Saturday, remain at the summit of the Nigerian top-flight with 53 points from the same number of matches. Elsewhere, Jigawa Golden Stars are 14th with 33 points.

Musa and his teammates would be hoping to return to winning ways when they host Ifeanyi Ubah United in their next outing on June 27.