By Paul Erewuba
Enyimba of Aba will today file out at the UJ Esuene Stadium, where they will be hoping to continue their impregnable home record against Kano Pillars who are yet to secure any away victory against the People’s Elephant in the past twelve years.
The Match Day 32 encounter is no doubt a clash of heavy weights.
The two sides had a stranglehold on the domestic league.
With seven games left to play including today’s clash, it is definitely going to be a make-or-break encounter as the two sides seek to win the maximum three points to brighten their tile chances.
While Enyimba are on vintage 4th position, they still sit three points below the last continental spot and eight behind league leaders, Plateau United.
It is not however rosy for Pillars as they occupy the 10th spot on the log, three points behind Enyimba.
The series of changes in managerial personnel of Kano Pillars has not helped the team in this year’s title chase.
Enyimba are unbeaten in their last home games in the league and have somewhat adapted fully to their difficult home ground in Calabar having won their last eight home games, scoring 16 goals while conceding just 3 in the process. Nine of those goals have come in their last three home games as Enyimba look to step up an unlikely title chase on the home stretch.
Such is the huge task confronting Pillars who have failed to win any of their last 27 away games in the league and interestingly, the responsibility of stopping Enyimba will lie majorly on the shoulders of an Enyimba legend, Chinedu Udoji who joined Pillars at the start of this season after years of meritorious service to the People’s Elephant.
Udoji holds the record as the only player to have been red carded for both teams in games involving the two sides (having been sent off for Enyimba in Kano on April 2015 and for Pillars in this season’s reverse fixture).
He however is not the only former Enyimba star that would be in Pillars’ jersey today as the trio of Idris Aloma, Kamal Sikiru and Bala Zakka have very recently defended Enyimba’s blue and white colours.
While a former Enyimba captain will be hoping to keep the Elephants at bay, former Kano Pillars captain and also a club legend, Theophilus Afelokhai (if selected) will be hoping to get one over his former employers.
Just like Udoji, Afelokhai spent about a decade of his career with Pillars, achieving a cult hero status before leaving to join arch-rivals Enyimba before the 2015/16 season. An Enyimba vs Kano Pillars game is always one to provide the thrills, passion.