Kano Pillars head coach, Ibrahim Musa has spoken glowingly of his team’s possible chances of prevailing over Ashanti Kotoko of Ghana in their two-legged Preliminary Round games of the 2019/2020 CAF Champions League despite a disappointing 3-2 first leg win in Kano on August 10, Completesports.com reports.
Amidst mounting fears that the Sai Masu Gida have come to the sad end of their sixth campaign in Africa’s Premier inter club flagship competition, Musa says Pillars are primed to go through and will shock critics in the reverse fixture billed for the 40,528 capacity Kumasi Sports Stadium on August 23.
“The result (3-2) is not what we had set out to achieve going into the game yesterday (Saturday), but that’s one of those things that happen in the game,” Musa said in somewhat emotional tone.
“It may not look healthy enough going into the return leg match, but I believe the most important thing is that we are going there (Kumasi) with victory in the first leg match.
“The return leg will be a different kettle of fish altogether. Now we have known them, how they play and all that.
“When we get there, we will serve them our own dose of the game.”
Kano Pillars took the lead 11 minutes into the game decided at Sani Abacha Stadium through Rahaqqu Yusuf. They failed to double their advantage before the break only for the visitors to draw level courtesy of Justice Blay 10 minutes after the restart.
Godfrey Asiamah took the Porcupines in front seven minutes past the hour mark with Victor Dennis restoring parity for the Nigerians three minutes later.
Nyima Nwagua scored the match winner for Pillars on the dot of 90 minutes to hand Kano Pillars a slim 3-2 advantage going into the return leg on August 23.
Coach Ibrahim Musa admitted it was a slender lead but vehemently ruled out adopting a defensive approach in Ghana.
“No, we’ve everything to play for in Ghana. There is no reason to resort to defensive play”, he said.
“The best form of defence is attack. We will play for goals, not to defend”, he emphasized.
“We’ve seen our mistakes in the first leg, we will work hard to correct them before the return leg match.
“We are going there for a win and move to the next round of the competition.”
The 2019/2020 edition is the sixth time Kano Pillars will be featuring in the CAF Champions League.
Their best performance was in 2009 when they reached the semi finals, losing 5-0 on aggregate to Heartland of Owerri over the two legs.
In 2011, 2013 and 2015, they crashed out in the First Round and in 2014 they lost out in the Preliminary Round stages.
By Sab Osuji