A goal mouth scrambled effort by Anthony Okpotu ensured defending champions Lobi Stars salvaged a point in grueling matchday 3 of the ongoing Gold Cup Preseason Tournament in Ilorin on Friday.
Victor Denis had earlier shoot Pillars ahead in the 25th minute as his overhead kicked crossed the line before Kano Pillars’ keeper, Lawrence John could pick.
Pillars’ Ibrahim Alhassan tried a distance shot on target Lawrence John held firmly on the line.
Ebube Duru raced past his marker to take a shot for Lobi Stars in the sixth minute but his attempt went inches wide.
Kano Pillars thought they had taken the lead two minutes later when Rabiu Ali gets a through pass from Nwagua’s low pass but John denied him as he parried to corner.
Lobi responded with a renewed vigor as Ojo Tolulope run down the right flank to locate Okputu but Pillars’ defenders combined well to clear their line.
Kano Pillars’ goal arrived in the 25th minute when Victor Denis’ overhead kick went pass the goal line before John could pick.
Lobi could have level up the scoreline with five minutes remaining but Pillars’ keeper Yusuf Mohammed stood firmly between the sticks to tip Okpotu’s goal bound free kick to corner.
The Makurdi based side still had a chance to level up scoreline with a minute to end half time as Uchenna Eze shoot from edge of the box but Mohammed punched to corner.
The resumption of the game witnessed an improved performance from Lobi Stars as they pushed for equalizer but Pillars stood their ground to maintain their lead.
Ayo Saka curled wide a close range effort from Ebube’s cross in the 59th minute.
Kano Pillars’ Keeper, Yusuf Mohammed dived well to rescue situation as Ebube Duru’s cross sailed into his box with a minute into an hour mark.
Substitute Manu Garba could have put the game to rest for Pillars in the 64th minute when put through with a neat pass from Rabiu Ali but the bulky forward shoot wide with only John to beat.
Lobi Stars would get their deserved equalizer with six minutes to end the game when Anthony Okpotu arrived on time to jabbed in the ball from a goal mouth scramble.
Both sides finally settled for draw as they couldn’t find a way through to get the winner.
Technical Adviser of Pillars, Ibrahim Musa who commended both sides for putting up a good match noted that his side could have won had they converted their numerous scoring opportunities.
His counterparts from Lobi Stars, Evans Ogenyi praised his players for rallying to get a point from the match adding that the match afforded the Makurdi based Club to test new legs in their fold.