Nigeria’s Kano Pillars dug deep into their arsenal to edge out Asante Kotoko of Ghana in a lively first leg encounter that ended 3-2 in favour of the hosts at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.
Saturday’s home victory was Kano Pillars’ first in the CAF Total Champions League since a tumultuous 2-1 loss to Mogreb Tetouan of Morocco four years ago but the Mai Su Gida Boys were girded this time and went in front after 12 minutes through striker Rahaqqu Adam Yusuf.
However, the visitors came back strongly at the restart and got an equaliser in the 52nd minute after Justice Blay headed home from a corner-kick and some 10 minutes later, the Ghanaian champions then increased their tally with a well-taken free-kick by winger Godfred Asiamah.
But few minutes later Rabiu Ali brought Kano Pillars from the dead with a much-needed equaliser in the 70th minute while substitute Mohammed Gambo got the winner for the home side five minutes later.
Both coaches admitted the first leg match was a difficult encounter and are already looking for the with the Porcupine Warriors’ head coach Kjetil Zachariassen crucial saying the two goals scored by his side in Kano would be crucial in the reverse fixture to be played on 23rd August in Kumasi.
“I am highly elated with my team’s performance because one thing here is that we played against a good team and we scored two important away goals which will be very important for us,” noted Zachariassen.