ALI MALAM SCORES TWICE IN KANO PILLARS’ 3-1 WIN OVER REMO STARS IN IKENNE
Kano Pillars forward Auwalu Ali Malam scored in either half as Kano Pillars nicked a vital 3-1 win at Remo Stars in the 2021/2022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match in Ikenne on Saturday evening.
Both sides went into the MatchDay 30 clash with contrasting focus; the Sky Blue Stars needed a win to keep their continental hopes alive, while Kano Pillars, who have found themselves in the relegation waters, needed a win to ease their worries.
The hosts started brightly, with midfielder Dayo Ojo orchestrating things from the middle of the park alongside Akanni Qudus. However, it was the visitors who would take the lead against the run of play in the 15th minute. Mark Daniel raced onto a delicious through ball from Auwalu Ali Malam to put the Kano side ahead.
Shocked by the goal, Remo Stars upped the ante in search of the equaliser, but that never came as Emeka Onyema and the rest of the backline kept frustrating the efforts of the hosts.
In search for the equaliser, Sikiru Alimi and Lekan Adedayo combined brilliantly at the edge of the area, but the former’s attempted volley from outside the area was way off target.
Sooner than later, another quickfire counter attack from Pillars ensured they doubled their lead. Skipper Rabiu Ali released Auwalu Ali Malam, who kept his composure, before firing past a hapless Kayode Bankole in the Remo goal.
Minutes before the break, Gbenga Ogunbote’s men managed to pull one back through Ibrahim Yusuf, assisted by Adebayo Abayomi.
However, just three minutes after the break, any hope of a comeback by the home side was dashed when Fahad Usman’s exquisite delivery was converted by Auwalu Ali Malam for his second of the game.
The hosts, stunned by the organized and disciplined Sai Masu Gida side, failed to get the needed reaction as Pillars keeper Idrissu Ibrahim was not tested in the second half. In the end, Pillars held on for a rare away win.
By the result, Kano Pillars moved up to 12th on the log, while Remo Stars stay in fourth, two points adrift of Enugu Rangers who currently occupy the final continental place.