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Pillars Boss Happy With Draw

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Kano Pillars coach Salisu Yusuf was pleased with both the endeavour and the result from his side’s opening day 1-1 draw at Kaduna United.

Ali Rabiu put the northern aristocrats in front before they were pegged back by Siman Yusuf’s mean volley into the roof of the net.

But Salisu was happy to come away with a point on the road

“I am happy with the draw. Normally every first game of the season is difficult, especially when it is an away match,” Salisu told the NPL’s official website.

“To pick a point in the first away match is no mean feat. We are surely going to improve on the performance.

“By the time we played up to three matches, the team would have picked up. I don’t have any doubt in my mind that we have the crop of players that will make us proud this season,” Salisu said.

Neighbours Kaduna United and Kano Pillars opened the 2010/2011 Nigeria Premier League season with an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Kaduna Township Stadium on Saturday.

Rabiu Ali volleyed Pillars in front after 28 minutes, and Siman Yusuf found parity for the hosts eight minutes before the interval.

A near full house in Kaduna witnessed the kickoff of a season which has suffered multiple postponements.

NPL chairman Davidson Owumi led a glittering cast of ex internationals, including Daniel Amokachi and Victor Ikpeba who witnessed the opening day of the season.

They were not to be disappointed by the passion and desire of the their successors, if not the quality of football.

Both sides had early chances to open the scoring, but Pillars looked the stronger side, and it was no surprise when they went in front.

Ali found himself on the end of an inch perfect ball from deep, and just had time to turn before lashing in on the half volley under Kaduna goalkeeper Richard Ochayi’s despairing dive to his bottom left hand corner.

Falling behind sparked the home side into life, and they laid siege to the visitors half.

Reward quickly followed endeavour. And it took barely eight minutes.

If Ali’s goal was of perfect quality to open the season, the leveler was even better. Sani Aruwa turned on a coin halfway into the Pillars half, and played an excellent ball into the right channel for Siman Yusuf.

Just like Ali before him, Yusuf allowed the ball to run in front of him, then unleashed a thunderbolt to the roof of Theophilus Afelokhai’s net.

Both sides could have added to their tally in the second period, but the profligacy that afflicts players in the domestic game continued, with Kaduna’s Jude Aneke the villain of the piece.

In the end, it finished with no further goals, and the biggest relief will be among the fans. At least, the season is finally underway.

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CAF Mulls Super League Idea

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The Confederation of African Football [CAF] is discussing the idea of introducing an African Super League, a continental competition which would likely replace the current CAF Champions League and hopefully boost revenue for the organising body.
The revelation was made as CAF President Patrice Motsepe issued a statement outlining the changes and reforms the new leadership is making to ensure African football is globally competitive and self-sustaining.
The idea has taken shape even despite the disastrous European Super League [ESL] proposal earlier this year, which caused major controversy before being banned after most founding member clubs bowed to fan pressure and pulled out.
“ExCo [the CAF executive committee] may have to discuss and consider new CAF competitions which may generate additional funding or income for CAF, its member associations and bodies and also contribute to African football becoming globally competitive and self-sustaining,” Motsepe was quoted as saying by Tidesports source.
“In this regard, we are assessing and [are] in preliminary discussions to start an inclusive and broadly supported and beneficial CAF African Super League. We have been following the attempts by some top European clubs to form a Euro Super League and will learn from their experience and pitfalls.”
CAF is looking to boost income after recent forensic auditing revealed that the organisation has been beset by financial irregularities.

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NPFL: Rivers United’s Coach Praises Players

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The Chief Coach of Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt, Ndubuisi Nduka, has praised his players after a 1-0 win over Katsina United FC in the match day 28 of the Nigeria Professional Football League ( NPFL) in Port Harcourt.
He stated that his boys (players) gave all their best  to ensure they secured the maximum three points for the team, and described the encounter as very tough. 
Nduka, said this on Sunday, during a post match interview with sports journalists, after the Pride of Rivers, defeated their opponents  1-0, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
According to him, what made the match more difficult for his players was that they failed to utilise goal opportunities they created in the first half of the game.
The only goal of the game came in the 77th minute by home boy, Malachi Ohawume, who made his goals four for this league season.
“It was a tough game; I think our boys gave it all.
What made it more difficult for us was the chances we lost especially in the first half, “ Nduka said.
He explained that the second round of the league is always difficult because every team is fighting to be at top and some are fighting not to be relegated.
“At this point and time of the league, the second round, we are stretching to the finishing point.
“It is always difficult and if you remember the position of Katsina United, they are not safe so they are looking for where to pick points, so I gave kudos to my boys as they secured three points for us, “ he stated. 
Rivers United is now 4th on the log after 28 matches with 48 points.

By:  Kiadum Edookor

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Hockey Championship: Team Rivers’ Performance Excites Coach

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The Head coach of Team Rivers State, (female) hockey, Comfort Nya, has commended her players after they defeated team Edo, 3-1 in the ongoing, 2021 Mabisel National Hockey Championship (MNHC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. 
She, described the match as one of the toughest games they have played, saying that the calibre of players she saw in the team Edo lineup was intimidating.
Nya said this on Monday in her post match interview with sports journalists, after their first victory in the championship, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports in Port Harcourt. 
According to her, their first game in the championship was difficult because of the heavy downpour, adding that they could not play well but today they are awesome.
“It was a tough one, honestly speaking I would not tell lies, and the players I saw in team Edo lineup are old and good players and my girls are just upcoming.
“I was thinking of draw or let them just play but with this result I am so happy with their performance, “Nya said. 
The coach further explained that their next outing will be against team Kaduna, they are going to do more better.
“Our first game was disturbed by heavy rainfall, they could not play well but today they have performed well.
“In our next game against team Kaduna, we are going to do better,” She stated..

By: Kiadum Edookor

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