CLUB NEWS

We shook off nervousness To beat Kano Pillars - Johnson

By Ishaku Kigbu

Ibe Johnson stayed in the clouds several moments after he had opened scoring in the pulsating Matchday 13 fixture in Jos between Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) leaders, Plateau United, and Kano Pillars on Sunday.

Plateau United won the fixture 2-0 at the Rwang Pam Stadium in Jos to maintain their position at the top of the log in the ongoing season. It was an evening that also saw Plateau United end a six-game unbeaten run held by Kano Pillars.

The former First Bank of Lagos player who is spending his fourth season at the Jos side would describe his opening goal against Pillars as special. And he attempted to provide www.npfl.ng a description of how he executed the 'special' goal.

"It is my second goal for Plateau United and I see it as special against a club that is as big as Pillars. It is not easy to score such a goal against such a big club coached by a veteran like Kadiri Ikhana.

"When I picked the pass and chested it my instinct told me immediately to take the shot which I did. I knew Isah Danladi would not be expecting me to shoot from such a range and I knew once I take the chance the goalkeeper will not be expecting it so quick. I did and it caught him napping. I am so happy I scored against Pillars," gushed Ibe.

"We had to psych ourselves up mentally and psychologically knowing that Kano Pillars can cause problems to our quest in the league. We were nervous before the game and we kept talking about the match against Pillars in our camp. To win, we had to shake off the nervousness," Ibe continued.

Ibe had broken the visitors' resilience on 15 minutes, latching on to a loose pass at the edge of the far left of the 18 yard area, chested and volleyed a low ferocious shot that left Danladi Isah sprawling on the ground. The former Plateau United goalkeeper failed to get a firm grip on the ball and it rolled into the net. That goal unsettled the men from Kano who had hoped to at least pick a draw in Jos. Plateau United's captain Golbe Elisha compounded Pillars' worries in the second half connecting a cross for a free header inside the box when he was left unmarked.

The Tin City side now have 25 points from 13 matches and are closely chased by El-Kanemi Warriors on 24 points. Next for Plateau United is a visit to Lagos to play third-placed MFM at the Agege Township Stadium. The Church side took a point from their clash with former champions, Enyimba International in Calabar on Saturday.

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