CAF League: Pillars faces unknown South Sudan foes

Kano Pillars

Kano Pillars

Kano Pillars will start its quest for the 2015 CAF Champions on Saturday at relatively unknown South Sudan champions Al-Malaika FC in a preliminary round first leg match.

Pillars best run in the competition was on its debut in 2009, when it lost at home and away to fellow Nigerian club Heartland in the semifinal.

However, Pillars lost out in the first round in 2011 and 2013 editions, and lost out in the preliminary round in 2014 to AS Vita of DR Congo, which reached the final of the competition.

The club needs a better performance this year after winning the Nigeria league crown three times in a row.

Its biggest absentee will be central defender Umar Zango, who is nursing a knee injury and will miss both legs.

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Newly-signed striker Christian Obiozor has so far proved an inspired recruit and he will again be expected to deliver the goals for this team, which also parade Nigeria internationals Gambo Muhammed and Rabiu Ali.

Pillars ha prepared adequately for this year’s challenge.

The team featured in the expanded Super 4 in Abuja , where it finished third behind the U20 and U23 national teams.

It also played two warm-up games in Ghana against Hearts of Oak, which it drew 2-2, and the Ghana U23 team, which it won 1-0.

Pillars goalkeeper Emmanuel Fabiyi said the team has prepared well to go past Malaika.

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“We have been preparing well for the Champions League game against Malaika. I believe by God’s grace we will achieve positive result from Sudan ,” said the Benin international goalkeeper, who was one of the new signings for Pillars.

“We will put in our best as usual and pray God perfect the day for us. We won’t look down on them because they are champions of their country, like we are.”

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