Kwara United’s quest for a place in the quarter final of the 2012 Federation Cup suffered a blow Tuesday evening, as they lost their second group match 2-1 to
Kano Pillars at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.
Kwara United, who lost their first match by a lone goal to El-Kanemi Warriors on Monday, surrendered a goal lead and allowed Pillars to come from behind to win the tie.
Segun Atere had given Kwara a hope of moving on in the Fed Cup when he scored for the Afonja Warriors in the 78th minute.
Segun Alebiosu started the goal move when he received a pass, dribbled past three Pillars’ players before setting up Atere, who slotted in the opener.
Pillars responded immediately through Gambo Mohammed, who netted a brace to give the northerners maximum points in the encounter.
Prior to the equaliser, Pillars had a throw-in advantage. And, as a player threw the ball, it rolled into Kwara’s vital area and slipped off the hands of Kwara goalkeeper, Kazeem Yekeen, but Mohammed was smart enough to head home the ball off his weak hands.
Apparently aware that a draw will not be in their favour, Pillars, who drew their first tie 1-1 with Crown FC of Ogbomosho on Monday, went all out and took the game to their opponents yard.
They attempted to score on several occasions, and the move kept Kwara’s goalkeeper busy, while the Ilorin team responded by making some dangerous moves into Pillars’ defence too.
The brilliant saves made by both goalkeepers gave the fans who watched the tie at Agege Stadium something to cheer, as they clapped and roared on top of their voices each time they cleared the ball away from danger.
Pillars’ chance of increasing their goal tally came in the 80th minute when Mohammed missed a sitter. Some Pillars’ fans, who could not stomach the miss, left the stadium thinking that it was over for their darling club.
However, Mohammed made up for his awful miss and became the match hero, as he scored the crucial goal that sent Kwara out of the tournament in the die minute of the tension soaked match.
As the goal went in, Kwara players, who were dumbfounded cried uncontrollably, while Pillars celebrated their victory.
Meanwhile, P.M.Sports gathered that Chief Coach of Kwara United, Tunde Sani has been suspended by the club management due to the poor performance of the team in Lagos.
In the second match at the Agege venue, Crown Football Club of Ogbomosho and El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri played a goalless draw.
Crown, who played a 1-1 draw against Kano Pillars in their opening group match on Monday, were the ambitious
side in the tie, but their strikers were shy in front of goal as they failed to convert their chances against the northern club.
Crown came close to scoring through their top striker, Adeyemi Adeyeye in the 12th minute, but the bravery of El Kanemi goalkeeper, Itodo Ikor denied him on several occasions.
When the pressure was too much to bear, El-Kanemi strikers came out and turned the heat on Crown, as Thompson Ezekiel and Reuben Ogbona joined forces but still failed hit target.
The first half ended without a single goal, while both teams still fired blank in the second half despite employing different tactics.
Bode Daniels, who scored Crown’s equaliser against Pillars in their first match on Monday came close to scoring several times, but he found goalkeeper Ikor a rock too high to mount.
Fans of both teams left the venue disappointed as no goal was recorded till the game ended at Agege Stadium.
After the second round matches, Pillars are leading the table at the Agege centre with four points, El-kanemi are second with four points, while Crown are third with two points, leaving Kwara United in the last spot with no point. The last group matches hold on Friday.