Kano Pillars beat Enyimba 4-2 to qualify for AITEO Cup semifinals
• Sai Masu Gida to meet Katsina United in Lagos on Wednesday
CAF Confederation Cup semifinalists, Enyimba of Aba were yesterday knocked out of the AITEO Cup by Kano Pillars, who defeated them 4-2 at the Pantami Stadium, Gombe. It was a quarterfinal match, which profit for the Peoples Elephant would have been a semifinal ticket to meet Katsina United at the Agege Stadium, Lagos on Wednesday. Instead, they lost the opportunity to a more purposeful Kano Pillars team, who came from behind to record the commanding win.
Fresh from a 0-1 home loss to Morocco’s Raja Casablanca in the CAF Confederation Cup semifinal on Wednesday, Enyimba seemed to have put the disappointment behind them when they raced to the lead in the 10th minute through Stephen Chukwude. But Pillars drew level just before the break through Skipper Rabiu Ali.
The Sai Masu Gida took the lead seven minutes into the second half through defender, Chris Madaki, got further with goals by Ifeanyi Nweke and Nyima Nwagbua to douse the fire in an Enyimba side that looked jaded in the second half.
Enyimba, however, managed to reduce the tally through Sunday Adetunji, who tucked in a late penalty to end scores 4-2.
Enyimba officials blamed the loss on fatigue, claiming they have played five matches in less than two weeks.
“We played the group stage of the Aiteo Cup in Gombe last week before moving to Aba to play the Confederation Cup match against Raja.
“We then travelled back to Gombe for this match and you can see the effect on our team. It has been a tough schedule,” an official, who pleaded anonymity, said.
He said Enyimba will return to Aba to prepare for the return leg of the CAF Confederation semifinal, which first leg they lost to Raja Casablanca 1-0 in Aba.
For Kano Pillars, their reward is a semifinal match against Katsina United on Wednesday.
Katsina United had earlier beaten Kwara United 3-1 at the Agege Stadium in one of the other quarterfinal matches.
Enugu Rangers will lock horns with Nasarawa United in the other semifinal mat the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano also on Wednesday.
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