By Albert Akota
Flying Eagles continued their unbeaten start to the 2015 Super Six Invitational Tournament at the Abuja National Stadium with a well deserved 2-1 victory over Nigeria Professional League champions Kano Pillars yesterday.
Taiwo Awoniyi was behind most of the positive moves made by Manu Garba’s boys in throughout the match.
The enterprising young forward was a menace to Pillars defenders as he linked up well with his team mates before he made way for Abubakar Lawal two minutes from time.
Okey Emordi’s team pressed on the high line with their attacking football too, but they were matched by a better side.
The two sides went into the game on the back of opening day victories.
Ojo Olorunleke and Suleiman Abdullahi were restored to the starting line by Flying Eagles coaches, while Azeez Shobowale was given a start for Pillars.
And though the U20 boys made a positive start to proceedings, they had to wait until the 22nd minute to net the curtain raiser.
Awoniyi latched on to a sweet through ball before he unleashed a teasing low cross to Abdullahi who dispatched his effort to the right hand post.
Pillars grew into the game as the half wore and it was a matter of ten minutes before they were back on level terms.
Captain Musa Muhammed headed a Pillars cross into his own net in a bizzare circumstances.
But the mobile Awoniyi, who was always running through the channels, had other ideas and restored the U20 team’s lead in the 34th minute.
The forward received the ball on the edge of the box before strolling through Pillars defence line before sending a well crafted finish into the bottom-right corner.
In an end to end stuff, Azeez Shobowale tested Ojo Olorunleke with a speculative drive which the young goalkeeper stood up to.
Both sides struggled to gain any real momentum after the restart, and it was not until the 58th minute that Gambo Mohammed struck a shot which Olorunleke saved with ease.
In the 65th minute, substitute Chidera Eze had the chance to hand the U20 team a two-goal advantage from the penalty spot, but his spot kick was kept out by the busy Afelokhai.
Flying Eagles broke forward as the game entered the final 20 minutes, and Wasiu Jimoh almost scored with a cute effort from a tight angle, but his strike was well saved by the confident Pillars captain.
Fifteen minutes to the end of the match, Ifeanyi Matthew worked a great chance, ducking inside onto his right foot before curling a vicious strike goalwards, but Afelokhai was equal to it and held firm.