How Kano Pillars became AITEO Cup champions after beating Niger Tornadoes on penalties

Pillars finally have their hands on the Federation Cup (called AITEO Cup for sponsorship purposes) for the first time in 66 years. 

Kano Pillars win 2019 AITEO Cup title (Twitter/Kano Pillars)

Pillars suffered misery in last year’s final. They were up 3-0 before the 50th minute of the game but ended up losing to Enugu Rangers who forced the game to penalties at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba. 

At the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Sunday, July 28, Pillars got another chance to win their first cup title since 1953 with Tornadoes standing on their way. 

The game lacked the fireworks that were expected as both teams failed to get any sort of fluidity. 

It was Auwali Ali who first tested Tornadoes’ goalkeeper Mustapha Aliko in the eighth-minute nut his shot was held firm by the goalkeeper. 

In the 13th minute, Tornadoes’ Reuben Ogbonnaya had a chance from a freekick but his effort from 20 yards was off target. Two minutes later 

Two minutes later, Ali got the chance to put Pillars ahead but his tame header went over the bar as the game refused to spark. 

Pillars came out more in the second half as they tried to press Tornadoes to their own half. Captain Rabiu Ali threatened had a host of chances to cause some real problems for Niger Tornadoes with some free kick situations but his deliveries were disappointing.

Tornadoes would have nicked it in the 90th minute but Eri Frimpong could only manage a tame shot from a very good area. 

At the end of regulation time, the game went into penalties which Pillars won 4-3 to break their Federation Cup jinx. 

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