NPFL Playoffs: Pillars beat Ifeanyi Ubah to retain top spot

NPFL By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 08/06/2019

Kano Pillars beat Ifeanyi Ubah 2-1 to retain top spot in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Super Six on Saturday at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.

Captain Rabiu Ali and David Ebuka scored a goal in each half and even though the Anambra Warriors pulled one back, later on, it was not enough to save them from their third consecutive defeat in the championship playoffs.

In the 25th minute, coach Uche Okagbue's men almost got the lead but Chinonso Udeh's goal-bound effort was deflected for a corner. 

Pillars also had a handful of chances but there was no goal to separate both sides until the 45th minute when the referee pointed to the penalty spot for a supposed infringement by Ifeanyi Ubah's Charles Okafor against Ebuka.

It was captain Rabiu Ali that stepped up to take the penalty kick and he calmly dispatched it into the net to give the former champions the lead going into the half-time break.

In the second half, both teams found openings they should have exploited but it remained 1-0 until after the hour-mark when the experience of Pillars finally paid off and they got a second goal in the 63rd minute.

It was Rabiu Ali that set up Ebuka who scored off a rebound after goalkeeper Anozie had blocked his initial attempt.

The second goal did not deflate the youthful Ifeanyi Ubah team as they upped their game to reduce the deficit. Two minutes after, they got a goal from Emmanuel Matthew's attempt from outside the penalty area beat goalkeeper Ayeleso.

The Anambra Warriors threatened to get a late equaliser but they were let down with their poor finishing as Pillars did just enough to get the crucial three points needed.

Kano Pillars now have seven points from three games while the Anambra Warriors are still without a point in the Championship play-offs.