Wednesday, October 8, 2014 8:39 pm
Defending champions Kano Pillars now hold a five-point advantage at the top of the Nigerian Premier League following a 3-2 win over Crown FC in a matchday 31 encounter played in Kano this evening.
The win puts Pillars on 53 points with seven matches left in the 2014 league season, five points ahead of Enyimba and Dolphins while the trio of Abia Warriors, Nasarawa United and Giwa FC of Jos lie a further point behind as the race for continental places hots up.
Isaac Laute broke the deadlock for Pillars in the 14th minute while Adamu Hassan scrambled in the second a minute before half-time as the league leaders appeared to be strolling to another home win.
Crown FC got back into the game through Onyekachi Okafor who headed in Ike Chukwujekwu’s cross to pull a goal back for the visitors three minutes into the second half.
Azeez Shobowale however restored the two-goal lead for Pillars with a 72nd minute effort and though Nedum Francis scored for Crown three minutes later, the champions held on for a crucial win in the title race.
Elsewhere in the Premier League today, Samuel Agba scored twice as Rangers overcame Bayelsa United 2-1 in Enugu while Giwa FC beat Heartland by a lone goal in Jos to maintain a fairytale debut season in thetop flight.
In Enugu, Rangers was denied a goal in the 14th minute when Pape Ousmane’s header was cleared off the line by Mutiu Adegoke, though the Flying Antelopes did not have to wait much longer before breaking the deadlock.
A pass from Emeka Eze found Agba who rounded the Bayelsa keeper to open scoring for Rangers in the 18th minute, going on to double the home side’s advantage just before the half-time break.
Adegoke’s freekick in the 58th minute made it 2-1 but Rangers held on for the win, which takes the Enugu club ninth on the table with 45 points while Bayelsa remain in 15th spot with 39 points, three points off the relegation zone.
In other matches, Sunshine Stars eased to a 3-0 win over Lobi Stars in Akure while Warri Wolves had a man sent off in the 2-0 win at home to Akwa United.
The match between bottom club Nembe City and Gombe United meanwhile has been rescheduled to Thursday, due to heavy rain which forced the match in Omoku to be suspended after 10 minutes.