Kano Pillars attacker, Adamu Alfa Hassan has delared that winning the Nigerian Federation Cup for the first time in their history has set the stage for the City of Groundnut Pyramids side to go fukll throttle, in order to excel in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup.
Hassan disclosed that the team already commenced preparations for the continental campaign, after placing third in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), but says winning the Fed Cup on Sunday has given them additional confidence to go all out for glory.
The tough-talking Alfa went on to declare during Mega Sports on Star 101.5 FM, Lagos that Sai Masu Gida will consiolidate on beating Niger Tornadioes in Sunday’s final at Ahmadu Bello Staduium, Kaduna, in order to get the right foundation for success in the second-tier African fiesta.
Alhough he admitted that his side found the final tough in The City of Crocodiles, Alfa reasoned that a match of that nature should not be one-sided, and praised Tornadoes for giving Pillars a tough fight, as the 2018 runners-up only managed to win on penalties, after a goaless finish.
Sai Masu Gida had lost the 2018 final to Enugu Rangers, but they made sure lighting did not strike the second time as they snatched a narrow win over Ikon Allah Boys, edging the Minna side 4-3 on penalties.
Regulation time had ended 0-0 before Pillars who are winning the title surprisingly for the first time ever edged the shootout in sudden death after some truly atrocious attempts from players of both sides.
Players of both sides missed gilt-edge chances during the ninety minutes of play but the misses during the shootout were more alarming and one of them – Ayo Adetola’s kick – handed Pillars the title, nine months after they lost to Rangers in Asaba.
Rabiu Ali and Saib Dhosso converted the first spot kicks for Pillars and Tornadoes respectively but both teams missed their next two kicks with particular emphasis on Adamu Hassan (Pillars) and Reuben Ogbonnaya (Tornadoes) who blazed their attempts awfully over the bar.
The kicks stretched to sudden death after Obinna Jacob (Tornadoes) had cancelled out Victor Dennis’ take but the contest was concluded at the first time of asking during the sudden death.
Defender Emmanuel Anyanwu scored for Pillars, firing into the roof of the net before Adetola hit his effort into the skies much to the elation of their teeming fans, who invaded the pitch in large numbers to celebrate the Kano side’s victory, which Hassan admitted was tough for his team.
Hassan stated: “The game was tough, but that is expected on a final of this nature. We are happy that we won, and we will use it to prepare better for the CAF Confederation Cup.
“We have already started preparing for the Confederation Cup, and this victory has now given us more confidence to do well in the continental level; where we hope to do well as Federation Cup champions.”