By TUNDE SHMSUDEEN
The super strike by Rabiu Ali with just eight minutes to final whistle will remain a nightmare for Sagamu fans as it brought the one-all equaliser for visiting Kano Pillars just when Remo Stars were at the verge of celebrating an NPFL match day 11 home win that would have shored them up on the log.
Smarting from their impressive away point gained from Shooting Stars at Ibadan on Saturday, Remo returned to their Gateway Stadium, Sagamu, base in the midweek with impressive charge, using youthful brilliance and pace to rattle the visitors and almost drawing the first blood as early as in the second minute when Kabiru Balogun and Victor Mbaoma combined a rush into the Pillars box but Goalkeeper Danladi Isah handled the situation well.
Rabiu Ali took the fight back with a waltz into Remo vital area in the 10th but shot wide only to return again in the 18th to hit the bar.
Unperturbed, Remo kept to their probe forcing as many as four close range saves from Isah with Awazie Ekene and Martaba Umar’s quick rebound strikes blocked by Isah.
Remo’s surges paid off in the 35th minute as Victor Mbaoma arrived on time to tap in a rebound from Salefu Ochowechi’s shot which gave them the lead into the break.
Pillars entered the second half with a high tempo challenge with Rabiu Ali deploying his huge experience while substitute Adamu Mohammed pressed the pedal to put Remo on edge.
The young team recovered quick to push back and both sides produced hair spilling chances that brought the best of both keepers, Walbe David and Danladi Isah.
The situation remained a ding dong until Rabiu Ali broke loose in a Pillars counter, shaking off the two defenders on him and striking with such power from outside the box to give Pillars the equaliser in the 86th minute.
Pained by the turn of events, Remo Stars coach Fatai Osho has said it was disappointing that his side could not hold on to the lead with just four minutes left before the added time of another four minutes.
He says it has become necessary with the result to work on the mental toughness of players to be able to stand and keep a win.