Christian Obiozor’s fourth goal of this year’s Glo Premier League Super 4 helped Kano Pillars edge Enyimba International FC in Abuja on Sunday.
Obiozor headed home Tony Edjomariegwe’s cross from the right, less than a quarter of an hour after the latter fellow new signing’s strike was ruled for an offside.
The reigning Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions ended the pre-season tournament tied on seven points with the reigning Federation Cup holders but better on goal differences in third position.
Gambo Mohammed made his first start since the 2-1 defeat by Flying Eagles alongside Rabiu Ali as Coach Okey Emordi made six changes to the side that lost to Warri Wolves.
Enyimba restored goalkeeper Chijioke Ejiogu to their starting XI among five changes from the 1-1 draw with Olympic team on Friday.
Andrew Abalogu could have put Enyimba on the front foot nine minutes after kickoff but fired his shot over the crossbar after being sent through on goal with just goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai to beat.
Ejiogu was quick to gather Isaac Loute’s wicked low cross before it became delicate just after a quarter of an hour and then saved Ezekiel Mbah’s shot in the 25th minute.
Afelokhai had to stoop low to make mockery of Ezekiel Bassey’s shot five minutes to the break before Pillars pulled ahead right after with their next attack.
The ‘Sai Masu Gida’ mounted an early assault in the second-half but were bereft of a couple of good decisions in the final-third. Gambo missed from Edjomariegwe’s cross immediately after restart and substitute Chinedu Udoji blocked the striker’s shot six minutes later.
Chinonso Okonkwo had Enyimba’s first chance of the half but could not beat Pillars goalkeeper with his shot.
Pillars substitute Ubong Ekpai received Mbah’s cross on 66 minutes but his shot was saved by Ejiogu.
Bassey forced a terrific block off Eneji Otekpa and Etor Daniel’s Left-foot free-kick was pushed on to the upright by Afelokhai as the ‘Peoples Elephants’ searched for an equaliser to no avail and Pillars held on to three points by a slim margin.