Kano Pillars “are going to win” at Asante Kotoko but must first eliminate the defensive frailties which saw them concede twice from set-pieces in the first-leg, technical adviser of Pillars, Ibrahim Musa says.
Rahaqqu Yusuf, Rabiu Ali, and Christopher Madaki were all on target for Pillars in the win at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano a fortnight ago but Justice Blay and Godfred Asiamah scored from set-pieces to hand the Ghanaians two priceless away goals to put Pillars in a precarious position ahead of the return leg which comes up today, August 25 the Baba Yara Stadium, Kumasi.
And speaking to busybuddiesng.com ahead of the encounter, Musa revealed his displeasure with the manner in which his side conceded in the first-leg and said the Sai Musa Gida must do better at defending set-pieces when they take to the pitch today.
“We were not supposed to concede those goals because they all came from set-pieces,” Musa said.
“They didn’t penetrate our defence from the buildup so we have to work on [defending] set-pieces because we allowed them to score two goals against us which is very dangerous to the team.”
Pillars have only ever made it to the group stage of the CAF champions league just once in their history in five previous campaigns and that was in their debut in the competition in the 2009 season where they reached the semifinal.
That year, Pillars knocked out the competition’s record winners Egyptian side Al Ahly on away goals in the first round to make the group stages and Musa believes “there is no reason” why his side cannot repeat the feat against 2-Time African Champions, Kotoko.
The 2019 Aiteo Cup-winning coach said Pillars have shown they carry a goal threat by scoring three times at the Sani Abacha Stadium and believes they can replicate their deadliness in front of goal at the Baba Yara Stadium but must, at the same time, ensure they keep a tight rear guard.
“If we could score three goals in our home, there’s no reason why we can’t go to Ghana and score goals. So all our training programme now is based on our defence and to go on the attack and also to work on [defending] set-pieces which we allowed them to score two goals,” Musa told busybuddiesng.com.
Pillars, Musa says, are undaunted by Kotoko’s pedigree and drawing inspiration from their ouster of Al Ahly a decade ago, Musa says the Sai Masu Gida will look to get an outright win against the Porcupine Warriors today.
“Notwithstanding that the team [Asante Kotoko] is a very good team and they have experience, we are going to Ghana not even to look for a draw, we are going to win by the grace of God.
“If we could hold Egypt’s Al Ahly – we played 1-1 in Kaduna and we went to Egypt to play 2-2 – there’s no reason for Kano Pillars to go to Ghana to lose the game. We are going to win by the grace of God.”