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Kano Pillars edge out Sunshine Stars in thrilling President Federation Cup quarter-final

Kano Pillars have secured their place in the semi-finals of this year’s President Federation Cup, following a dramatic penalty shootout victory over fellow Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) side Sunshine Stars.

The match, took place in Abuja on Wednesday, June 5, 2024 and ended in a 1-1 regulation time draw before Kano Pillars triumphed 5-4 on penalties.

During regular play, Kano Pillars took the lead through veteran midfielder Rabiu Ali, who found the net early in the match. Sunshine Stars equalized with a goal from Lucky Nwafor, setting the stage for a tense finish. However, Nwafor’s failure to convert his penalty in the shootout proved costly, allowing Kano Pillars to advance.

The victory puts Kano Pillars, three-time NPFL champions, on course for a potential ticket to next season’s CAF Confederation Cup, contingent depending on their success in the remaining matches of the 2024 President Federation Cup.

Kano Pillars will face Abia Warriors in the semi-finals, who also progressed after a penalty shootout, defeating Sokoto United 5-4 following a 1-1 draw.

Abia Warriors’ match saw similar drama, with their advancement secured through the lottery of penalties.

Sokoto United, a second-tier side, put up a commendable fight, but ultimately fell short in the shootout.

In other quarter-final action, EFCC and Kebbi United also settled their contest through penalties, with Kebbi United prevailing 4-3 after a goalless draw in regular time. The match was tightly contested, reflecting the high stakes of the tournament.

Meanwhile, El-Kanemi Warriors defeated Inter Lagos 2-1 in an all-NNL clash in Abuja, securing their spot in the semi-finals against Kebbi United. El-Kanemi’s victory was hard-fought, with both teams showing determination and resilience.

Kano Pillars’ coach, Ibrahim Musa, expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance, stating, “The boys showed great character and composure under pressure. We are now focused on the next challenge against Abia Warriors.”

Veteran Pillars captain, Rabiu Ali, reflecting on the match, said, “It was a tough game, but we knew we had the quality to win. We are determined to go all the way and win the cup”.

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