It was Match Day 8 of the 2018 Ahlan Cup as the semi finals took center stage at the magnificent Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.
The first game of the day saw defending champions Kano Pillars play Rarara Academy, a team which made the semi finals thanks to that victory against Yobe Deserts Stars in their last group game.
The game came alive as Burhama Mansur capitalized on Suraj Ayeleso’s howler in the 2nd minutes to give Rarara an early lead but Junior Lokosa didn’t waste anytime as his left-footed volley beat Nura Ado in goal for the Academy side four minutes later to level the scores.
The Academy boys threatened on numerous occasions with Suraj Ayeleso coming off his line twice to first deny Abubakar Babangida before stopping a goal bound effort from Usman Uba.
Rarara poured more boys forward in search of goals with Kano Pillars struggling to string passes together but it was Pillars that got the lead as Ali Awwal Mallam escaped the offside trap to hit the ball home thanks to a well placed pass from Gambo Mohammed as Pillars went into the break with the lead.
On resumption of the second half, Pillars took total control of the game as new signing Bature Yaro scored twice in quick succession with the woodwork denying him of a hattrick as his spot kicked rattled the bar and was cleared. It didn’t matter much as Pillars ran away 4-1 winners to book a spot in Sunday’s final.
In the second semi final, Wikki ended Niger Tornadoes run of four successive wins to book a place in the final.
Otuke Micheal’s early strike set up the tune for an explosive encounter as Niger Tornadoes took charge of early proceedings but Wikki stung back with Mohammed Mohammed’s header from Abdullahi Musa’s cross levelled things up heading into half time.
Idris Guda would have the last laugh as his strike in the 60th minutes made sure Wikki qualified for the finals.
Profligacy was the major bane as Liman Ahmed was unable to beat Chinedu Anthony in goal for Wikki Tourist as the Ali Zubairu tutored side made it to the final of the 2018 edition of the Ahlan preseason tournament.
Wikki Tourists will have to battle Kano Pillars for the trophy as the final is scheduled to take place on the 16th of December 2018 by 4pm at the Sani Abacha Stadium.