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Kano Pillars and Rivers United played out an entertaining 0-0 draw on Sunday in Kano in one of the stand out fixtures of the opening day of the 2019-20 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

United started well with Ossy Martins coming close to opening the scoring in the third minute but his rasping drive just about flew off the target.

Pillars responded gamely four minutes later and were unfortunate not to take the lead with Nyima Nwagua shooting narrowly wide from close range.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between in the game which was never lacking in intensity and on 53 minutes, Chijioke Alaekwe’s header just about failed to give Pillars the advantage as the United goalkeeper, Abiodu Akande gathered with ease.


Malachi Ohawume thought he had given United the lead just before the hour mark but his effort was chalked off for offside with the forward already wheeling away in celebration.

The lively Fortune Omoniwari caused the Pillars defence some problems upon his introduction late on but there was to be no scoring in a lively contest which saw both sides settle for a share of the spoils.

The Kano Pillars head coach, Ibrahim Musa was less than pleased with his side’s failure to score against the Port Harcourt club.

“I have to work on the finishing of my players,” he told the official Rivers United FC website,

Technical manager of United, Stanley Eguma praised his lads for getting a point in Kano.

“It was a good game. Both teams played good football. We had a lot of chances which we couldn’t convert and next time we have to correct that especially when we play at home against Heartland in our next game,” Eguma said


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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