Nigeria Premier League (NPL) leaders, Kano Pillars spurned the opportunity of opening a three-point margin over the chasing pack as Gombe United held them to a goalless draw at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano on Saturday.
Pillars lined out a strong squad with the likes of Theophilus Afelokhai, Gabriel Reuben, Rabiu Ali, Gambo Mohammed and Mannir Ubale against their northern rivals without leading scorer, Mustapha Babadidi.
Instead it was Gombe United who parked the bus in spite of Pillars throwing the kitchen sink at them for major spells of the game to earn a precious point off the leaders and deny them the chance of going three points clear of second-placed Enugu Rangers.
Gombe United have now succeeded in taking four points off Pillars over two legs but the Kano club still remain top of the log with 33 points after 20 games. Bernard Ogbe’s Gombe United are now on 29 points.
“Gombe United came with a game plan and they succeeded in holding us off to a goalless draw, which is not a very good result for us,” Kano Pillars’ head coach, Baba Ganaru told SuperSport.com.
Kano Pillars will keep their leadership status in the NPL till Sunday when Enugu Rangers and Dolphins, both on 32 points play on the road to Akwa United and Ocean Boys respectively.
At the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan, 3SC fought hard to get their seventh win of the season with a 2 – 1 win over Kaduna United.
Thomas Adesina and Ibrahim Babalola scored in the second 45 minutes after a goalless first half before substitute Hassan Abubakar reduced the lead of the Oluyole Warriors to just one goal inside added time.
3SC are now in 14th position on 26 points and four points above the drop zone while Kaduna United are just one place above the relegation line with 24 points.
In Port Harcourt, the Blue Angels took Niger Tornadoes, who have just lost the service of their top scorer, Sibi Gwar to Kwara United, to the cleaners.
ThankGod Amaefule made no mistake scoring from the spot after Bright Ejike was upended in the Kaduna United goal area inside 20 minutes and winger Gomo Onduku netted the insurance goal in the second half to seal a 2 – 0 win for John Obuh’s Sharks.
Bottom-placed Rising Stars also stunned Enyimba at the Kayode Oluyemi Stadium in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday with a lone goal win off an Alaba Fadoju strike.
Enyimba remain fourth on the standings with 31 points while climb to 18th place with 21 points but will wait to know if they will remain above Ocean Boys and Jigawa Golden Stars, who play their games on Sunday.