In a thrilling encounter at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos, former Kano Pillars player and highest goal scorer, Junior Lokosa, now with Sporting Lagos FC, delivered a stunning performance on Monday. Lokosa described his two-goal feat against his former club as an emotional moment during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the 2023/2024 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Match Day 7 encounter.
Lokosa expressed his mixed emotions, stating, “It’s true that in every match I want to score, but upon seeing my former team, Kano Pillars, I have to respect them. So, at some point, I was trying to study the game. First of all, scoring goals makes me happy, but scoring two goals against Kano Pillars is another feeling. The name I have today is from them; so, it’s emotional for me. I feel pained, but this is my job I just have to do it.”
The match ended with a resounding 3-0 victory for Sporting Lagos FC, with Lokosa netting his brace in the 12th and 36th minutes, while his strike partner, Jonathan Alukwu, sealed the deal with a 29th-minute solo strike.
Lokosa acknowledged the support of the fans, saying, “I really appreciate the support of the fans who get behind me. Lagos fans are fantastic, they support us well, especially the fans at the happy corner.”
In contrast, Kano Pillars’ captain, Rabiu Ali, endured a difficult outing against his former club, and despite the 3-0 loss, fans gathered around him after the match to celebrate his long and illustrious career. Ali, at 43 years old, is considered the oldest player in the league and has been with Kano Pillars since 2011.
Auwal Kadri, a devoted Kano Pillars fan, commended Ali’s loyalty to the club, saying, “We all like Rabiu because of his loyalty to the club. He has stayed with the club for so many years in spite of many clubs wanting him. He was unlucky not to have scored against Sporting Lagos FC today because the defenders denied him.”
Sani Kunmi, another fan, shared his excitement about seeing Ali in action, saying, “I come all the way from Agege to see him. It’s been a while since he came to Lagos last, maybe during the time MFM FC used to play in Lagos. My father who knew him well said a lot about him, how he used to dribble well. I can see how good he is today in spite of his age.”
This NPFL Match Day 7 victory lifted Sporting Lagos FC to sixth place on the 2023/2024 NPFL table, setting the stage for their next game against Lobi Stars FC of Markurdi.