Chinedu Udoji gone but not forgotten

We are deeply touched and saddened by the sudden and tragic death of our player Chinedu Udoji. He passed away on Monday 19th February, 2018 after a car accident on his way back from visiting his former Enyimba FC team-mates in Kano. We pray God to give his family the fortitude to bear his loss. Rest in Peace Captain!

We are collecting tribute messages on kanopillars.com/tributes which will be compiled and sent to the family of Late Chinedu Udoji.

Pillars host Enyimba in Nigeria’s El Clasico.

It is going to be ‘Super Sunday’ in the Nigerian Professional Football League as the two most successful clubs in recent times face off in an undoubtedly the biggest game of the Match Day 9, at the famous Sani Abacha Stadium Kano. This game have been described by Football lovers in and around the country as the ‘Nigeria’s El Clasico’.

Both finest clubs combined to win 10 League titles out of the last 16 and the fixture between them successfully replaced the ones we used to have in the 1970’s and 1980’s between Rangers International of Enugu and Shooting Stars FC of Ibadan.

PILLARS

The Sai Masu Gida approach the tie brimming with confidence as they have been impressive throughout the current season having lost just once in their last eight fixtures.

Pillars were able to keep four clean sheets in their previous four games scoring a total of four goals in the process and they have a hundred percent record at home, recording victories in each of the home game played so far.

A possible return to action of Pillars talisman, Rabiu Ali will be a good news to the ‘Sai Masu Gida’ Faithful having missed the opening fixtures as a result of national assignment. Another important player who is set to return is Ifeanyi Nweke, the speedy right full back was signed from Rivers United and like Ali, he represented Nigeria at the 2018 CHAN in Morocco.

The return to action of Ali and Nweke will be an added advantage to the team that already caught the eyes of football fans across the land with an impressive championship winning mentality.

Pillars forced Sunshine Stars to a nil nil draw in their last game and will be looking forward to better that result on Sunday.

ENYIMBA

Like Pillars, Enyimba have been impressive so far and are unbeaten in their last five fixtures, recording three victories and sharing the spoils on two occasions.

The news making round few days ago was about Captain, Mfon Udoh returned to training after a lengthy injury that kept him out of the 2018 CHAN.

This game will be too soon for the Captain to return to action but the People’s Elephant will welcome the likes of Mustapha Ibrahim and Theophilus Afelokhai and three others back to the side in time for this crunch encounter.

Stanley Dimgba’s 10th minutes penalty was all what Enyimba needed to beat 10-man Plateau Utd in their rescheduled Match Day 8 fixture, decided at the UJ Esuene Stadium on on Wednesday.

LEAGUE POSITIONS

Pillars are third on the 20 teams Nigerian Professional Football League log with 15 points and a plus 6 goals advantage having played a total of 8 games.

On the other hand, the People’s Elephant are on the 5th spot with 13 points from same number of matches as Pillars but with only plus 1 goal advantage.

FORM

PILLARS: DWWDW

Pillars 2-1 Abia Warriors

El Kanemi 0-0 Pillars

Pillars 2-0 Plateau Utd

Pillars 2-0 MFM FC

Sunshine Stars 0-0 Pillars

ENYIMBA: WDWDW

Enyimba 1-0 Nasarawa Utd

Rivers Utd 1-1 Enyimba

Enyimba 1-0 Abia Warriors

El Kanemi 0-0 Enyimba

Enyimba 1-0 Plateau Utd

HEAD TO HEAD

Between 2013 and 2017, Both teams have faced off on ten different occasions with Pillars winning four and Enyimba winning on six occasions and no draw have been recorded in the last five seasons.

Pillars were able to scored a total of 9 goals in those fixtures while Enyimba scored a total of 13 goals.

30-07-17: Enyimba 1-0 Pillars

05-03-17: Pillars 3-0 Enyimba

17-07-16: Enyimba 2-1 Pillars

04-05-16: Pillars 1-2 Enyimba

19-08-15: Enyimba 1-0 Pillars

19-04-15: Pillars 1-0 Enyimba

16-11-14: Enyimba 3-1 Pillars

01-06-14: Pillars 1-0 Enyimba

11-09-13: Pillars 1-0 Enyimba

12-05-13: Enyimba 3-0 Pillars

ANALYSIS

Though, Enyimba is one of the only few sides to have ever recorded a victory over Pillars at home, they need to worry about the Pride of Kano’s perfect home record in the ongoing season plus the ‘Red hot Lokosa’.

The Sai Masu Gida side have been scoring for fun at home this season and have successfully scored a staggering 8 league goals (an average of 2 goals per match) and conceded just once against Abia Warriors.

On the other hand, Enyimba recorded 3 draws on the road out of the 4 played so far but were walloped 2 nil at Katsina and have managed to scored just 2 goals in the process.

COACHES COMMENTS

Ibrahim Musa Of Kano Pillars: “It is going to be like every other game to us but knowing how good Enyimba are, we have prepared very well for the tie.

“Our main target as always is to get all the 3 points and doing so will help us improve on our position on the log.

On the importance of Ali and Nweke’s return. The experience gaffer told www.kanopillars.com that all the 36 registered players are equally important but will access each player’s performance in the training before making a final decision on whether to start them or not.

“Look, we didn’t built our team around anybody. “Had it been we do so, we would not have been near where we are at the moment because we loss 3 players for CHAN. Musa added.

Pillars will be boosted with the return of Christmas Madaki from an injury that has kept him out of the match at Sunshine.

Pillars held Sunshine to a goalless draw

Kano Pillars on Sunday maintained its unbeaten runs in five games with a goalless draw against Sunshine Stars in Akure in one of the Match Day 8 of the ongoing 2017/2018 Nigeria Professional Football League season.

Speaking to the journalists shortly after the match, Kano Pillars gaffer Coach Ibrahim A. Musa commended his players for the feat and expressed satisfaction on the handling of the encounter by the officiating officials.

He said referee Damian Akure from Benue State deserved special award for his near perfect control of the game.

Coach Ibrahim said the team was gradually getting close to the target hitting the top form for a possible title at the close of the season.

He pointed out that they came to Akure to collect the maximum points but thank God for getting a point which he said is vital at this time and expressed confidence that soon the club will be able to snatch three points away from home.

Despite the draw, the Sai Masu Gida remain in third position on the log with 15 points in eight matches.

Kano Pillars will host Enyimba next Sunday at Sani Abacha Stadium in a week nine encounter.

Pillars sent back MFM home empty handed

Kano Pillars on Sunday, sent back Mountain of Fire and Miracle, home empty handed with a 2-0 victory in the Match Day 7 of the 2018 Nigeria Professional Football League decided in Kano.

With the victory, the former league champion maintained its 100 percent home record since the commencement of the season.

The league leading goalscorer netted his seventh goal of the season off a spot kick in the 52nd minute of play following the referee decision to award the penalty for the home side after an MFM FC defender handled the ball inside the box.

Adamu Hassan who came in from the bench scored the second goal a minute in the added time of the second stanza off a pass from Mustapha Salisu.

The visitors, who started the game with delay strategies through time wasting, tried to fight back after conceding the first goal but their efforts to break the Pillars defence was frustrated by the defence line marshalled by Chinedu Udoji.

Kano Pillars stand in captain Chinedu Udoji, was voted the Man of the match with fourteen votes, Junior Lokosa six votes while Alassan Ibrahim got three votes in votes by the journalists that covered the match.

Presenting the man of the match award to Udoji, Chairman Kano State Sports Commission, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima on behalf of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Kano Chapter, congratulated him and the team for the victory and urged them to maintain the tempo and assured them that the people and government of the state are behind them.

On his part, Pillars Technical Adviser, Ibrahim A. Musa, expressed his appreciation to the players for their commitment and dedication to the set objectives of the club.

Coach Ibrahim reaffirmed their readiness towards ensuring that the club meet its set goal this season.

He hoped that the players continue with the same high spirit when they take on Sunshine Stars FC, next Sunday in Akure.

Also speaking, the man of the match winner, Chinedu Udoji thanked God for the victory and said he was in pillars to win the trophy which he believed is possible this season with the way the team has been pushing for vital points in all its matches.

He commended the fans of the club for their concerns for the team and assured them that they will not disappointed.

By Lurwanu Idris Malikawa

Pillars Sets To Maintain Their Hundred Percent Home Record When They Welcome MFM FC

High flying Kano Pillars will look to extend their unbeaten run to four matches in the league when they welcome Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry, MFM FC in their week seven encounter in the ongoing 2017/2018 Nigeria professional football league season on Sunday.

MATCH: Kano Pillars FC – MFM FC

DATE: February 4, 2018

TIME: 4:00pm

VENUE: Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano , Nigeria

The Sai Masu Gida easily dismantled Champions Plateau United in their midweek encounter, a game that saw NPFL red hot striker, Junior Lokosa netted a first half brace which makes the pacy forward to be the first player to have scored six goals in six match matches in the current season that is, a goal to game ratio and the Sai Masu Gida will solely depend on him to deliver the result once again on Sunday.

The pyramid city side maintained their one hundred percent record at home and will look forward to adding more miseries on visitors on Sunday.

On the other hand, MFM FC defeated Wikki Tourists of Bauchi by two goals to one on Wednesday but they need to improve on their poor away record if they’re to have any chance against the four times NPFL champions.

FORM

Kano Pillars:

Pillars 2-0 Plateau Utd

El Kanemi 0-0 Pillars

Pillars 2-1 Abia Warriors

Rivers Utd 2-1 Pillars

Pillars 2-0 Nasarawa Utd

MFM FC:

MFM FC 2-1 Wikki Tourists

Plateau Utd 1-0 MFM FC

MFM FC 2-1 FCIU

El Kanemi 3-1 MFM FC

MFM FC 1-0 Kwara Utd

PREVIOUS MEETINGS: Prior to this meeting, Pillars and MFM FC met on six different occasions, four in the league, once in the Gold Cup and the other being in the 2017 NPFL super six as summarized below;

15/12/2017: Pillars 1-1 MFM FC

18/06/2017: Pillars 3-1 MFM FC

29/01/2017: MFM FC 1-0 Pillars

23/07/2016: Pillars 1-0 MFM FC

23/03/2016: MFM FC 1-1 Pillars

27/11/2016: Pillars 4-2 MFM FC

Coach Ibrahim Musa of Kano Pillars is full of optimism ahead of the game on Sunday but stress the need for his team to be at their best to beat the team from Lagos.

“Playing two matches at home consecutively in the league could be dangerous.

“MFM FC are a very good side with good players and a manager that wants his team to pass the ball around in the middle of the park just as we do.

“They’re always a difficult side to play against but we will ensure we get the three points at end. Coach Musa added.

While reacting on the form his team particularly Ibrahim Alhassan and league’s top goal scorer, Junior Lokosa, the experienced tactician believes that it is the collective responsibility of the team and emphasize that ‘unity is the key’s for their magnificent run of forms.

By Isma’eel Abba Tangalashi

Lokosa’s brace sinks Plateau United

Junior Lokosa’s brace on Wednesday helped former league champions, Kano Pillars Football Club to disunite current champions, Plateau United FC in an entertaining encounter in one of the NPFL MatchDay 6 cracker decided in Kano.

Lokosa scored the two goals in a space of six minutes as he put his side ahead in the 20th minute of play and on the 26th minute, registered the second to send the thousands of fans inside the stadium into wide jubilations.

With the two goals, Lokosa has increased his goal tally to six in six matches this season.

The skillful player was voted man of the match by the journalists who covered the match. He got 25 votes.

Presenting the man of the match award to Lokosa courtesy of the Sports Writer’s Association of Nigeria, Kano State Chapter, the former General Manager of the club, Alhaji Abba Galadima congratulated him and urged him to be more focused to enable him contribute positively to the success of Sai Masu Gida, this season.

Galadima commended SWAN Kano for the initiative, which he described as a way of encouraging players in the field of play and urged other sporting organizations to emulate them.

Also speaking after the game, Kano Pillars FC Technical Adviser Ibrahim A. Musa said they won’t relent in their efforts to achieve the desired result this season.

Ibrahim said they have put them the victory against reigning champion and are more than ever determined to take on Mountain of Fire and Miracle Football club on Sunday in Kano.

“We have crossed the Plateau United hurdles and MFM is the next target, we will not loose our focus, our target is to pick our points by God’s grace,” Ibrahim said.

Meanwhile, Pillars’ Man of the Match winner, Junior Lokosa has dedicated the award to all members of the club and reaffirmed his determination to justifying the confidence repose on him by the club.

NPFL MD6 Preview: Pillars will host Plateau United in an ‘epic Cracker’

As we enter into week sixth of the Nigeria Professional Football League, all eyes will be at the Sani Abacha Stadium Kofarmata when four time champions, Kano Pillars welcomes the defending champions of the league, Plateau United in a mouthwatering clash on Wednesday evening.

The Sai Masu Gida would want to use this ACID TEST to send out warning to their rivals of their preparedness to clinch the title once again come the end of the season.

This fixture will go a long way in deciding where the league title will end up and the razzmatazz involved in it is second to non at the moment.

The pride of Kano came out unhurt at the weekend after a goalless draw against El Kanemi Warriors at the Maiduguri Sports Complex thereby becoming the first side to forced the Desert Warriors to a nil nil draw at their ground since March 2013, ending a run of 52 games.

In the other hand, the Lalong Boys dismantled MFM FC of Lagos 1-0 at the new Jos stadium at Zaria road, Tosin Omoyele solitary strike separated the two sides at the end of the regulation time.

TEAM NEWS

Pillars:

Victor Denis was shown a red card in Pillars’s 2-2 draw against Katsina at Muhammad Dikko stadium during the opening match of the season and missed three matches in the process but the defender has since returned in the 0-0 draw in Maiduguri.

In terms of team selection, the Coach retained same 18 players that travelled to Maiduguri except Samuel Mailabari Daniel who has since been replaced with Nazifi Yahaya.

Plateau United:

The Tin City side will be without the services of former Kano Pillars attacker, Amos Gyang who has been nursing an injury since the beginning of the season and will depend on the pace of Tosin Omoyele who scored the only goal against MFM FC at the weekend.

STATISTICS

Kano Pillars and Plateau United played six matches between them.

Kano Pillars won two direct matches while Plateau United won just a matche.

Three matches ended in a draw.

On average in direct matches both teams scored a 2.50 goals per Match.

Kano Pillars in actual season average scored 1.40 goals per match in two home matches played so far which represent a 100% record.

Plateau United scored average of 1.40 goals per match in the current season and managed to scored just a goal in their previous two away fixtures.

HEAD TO HEAD

Kano Pillars 5-1 Plateau United

Plateau United 2-2 Kano Pillars

Plateau United 0-0 Kano Pillars

Kano Pillars 1-0 Plateau United

Plateau United 2-0 Kano Pillars

Kano Pillars 1-1 Plateau United

FORM GUIDE

Pillars Last Five NPFL Fixtures:

El Kanemi 0-0 Kano Pillars

Kano Pillars 2-1 Abia Warriors

Rivers United 2-1 Kano Pillars

Kano Pillars 2-0 Nasarawa United

Katsina United 2-2 Kano Pillars

Plateau United Last Five NPFL Fixtures:

Plateau United 1-0 MFM FC

Plateau United 3-0 El Kanemi

Abia Warriors 1-0 Plateau United

Plateau United 2-0 Rivers United

Nasarawa United 0-1 Plateau United

COACHES ANGLE:

Ibrahim Musa of Kano Pillars:

“We’re not going to take the game lightly on them, they came here and picked a point last season and they’re the depending Champions of the league and currently topping the log.

“Because of the importance of this match, our players have been in camp since after our returned from Maiduguri.

Kennedy Boboye of Plateau United:

Coach Boboye rues his team’s missed chances against MFM FC at the weekend but was pleased with the three points and for his team to have any chance against Pillars, his team must be at 120%.

“What matters is the points. We were wasteful but we got the points,’ he said.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Pillars: Ibrahim Alhassan, Junior Lokosa and David Obiazor

Plateau Utd: Elisha Golbe, Tosin Omoyele and Joshua Obaje

By Isma’eel Abba Tangalashi

Pillars score Ref Hannah high

Kano Pillars on Sunday held El-Kanemi Warriors to a goalless draw in the Match Day 5 of the ongoing Nigeria Professional Football League  encounter decided at the Maiduguri stadium, Borno State.

The match which had all the thrills of a quality match could not produce a winner though both sides gave their best to get the decider.

The match was well handled by FIFA badged Abuja based female referee, Hannah.

The Centre referee, Hanna and her Assistants deserved to be commended for their courage and dedication despite the pressure during the match.

It could be recalled that the Chairman of Nigerian Football Federation referees appointment committee, Alhaji Sharu Rabiu Inuwa Ahlan has vowed to start honouring most outstanding officials on a weekly/monthly basis so as to spur them for greater performance.

Pillars Decries Attack On Team Bus By El Kanemi Warriors Fans

Kano Pillars has reported the attack on their team by some fans of the El Kanemi Warriors which resulted to the destruction of one of the glasses covering the windows.

According to the club’s Media Officer, Rilwanu Idris Malikawa, “one of the side mirror of the team bus was smashed by some fans of El-Kanemi Warriors FC.”

“We’ve since sent our complaint to the organizing body of the league through the Match Commissioner, Comrade Awaisu Kuta from Niger State.”

El Kanemi Warriors failed to score in a home match at the Maiduguri Township Stadium for the first time since March 2013, ending a run of 52 consecutive games.

Pillars force El Kanemi Warriors to a goalless draw

Kano Pillars did the unthinkable by forcing El Kanemi Warriors to a nil nil draw in the week five of the Nigeria Professional Football League fixture decided at the Maiduguri Sports Complex on Sunday.

It could be recalled that the host failed to score in a home match at the Maiduguri Township Stadium for the first time since March 2013, ending a run of 52 consecutive games. Stalemate.

Coach Musa made just one change from the side that defeated Abia Warriors 2-1 at the weekend with Victor Denis who served a three match ban came in for Ojebisi Adewale.

Speaking to kanopillars.com shortly after the match, Pillars Technical Adviser Ibrahim Musa has hailed the performance shown by his players on Sunday and charged them to try harder for the maximum points when next playing away from home.

Pillars picked two points on the road out of the three matches played so far.

In his words; “It isn’t enough for our standard because we came to Maiduguri for all the three points.”

When asked if he missed the services of his talisman, Rabiu Ali; “No No, we didn’t missed him at all though, he’s an important figure especially to the younger players.”

“We registered 35 players in case of eventualities and the players at the dressing room have stepped in perfectly well in his absence.”

The pride of Kano are now fifth on the NPFL log with eight points from five matches while El Kanemi Warriors are tenth on the log with seven points from same number of matches as Pillars.

The Masu Gida who earned two points on the road so far against Katsina United and El Kanemi Warriors will on Wednesday welcome the league Champions, Plateau United at the Sani Abacha Stadium.

By Isma’eel Abba Tangalashi