Rabiu Ali's brace extends Rivers United's winless away record

A general view of a football stadium. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Rabiu Ali's second-half brace propelled Kano Pillars to a 2-0 victory over Rivers United in a rescheduled Nigeria Professional Football League Match Day 27 encounter played in Kano on Thursday.

The latest conquest for Masu Gida earned them their seventh successive home victory - and 14th win of the season - as they moved to ninth-place on the table.

Kano Pillars made a solitary change in attack, replacing suspended Junior Lokosa - who was shown a straight red card against Enyimba at the weekend -with enterprising winger Amos Gyang.

The home team were desperate to put their noses in front early on, with Rabiu Ali and Nyima Nwagua leading the goal charge, but they were repelled on each occasion by a combination of impressive goalkeeping by Femi Thomas, and last-ditch defensive tackles and blocks by Rivers United's defenders to ensure the first-half ended in a stalemate.

The game's opening goal arrived in the 52nd minute when veteran midfielder Ali expertly dispatched a penalty after Gyang was upended in the opposition box.

Ali then grabbed his brace six minutes later, when he converted Hamza Tiya's pass to give Kano Pillars a comfortable lead.

Despite a late fight back by Rivers United, which saw Zoumana Doumbia, Christian Weli and Emeka Atuloma all weigh in with efforts in a bid to unsuccessfully reduce the deficit, they suffered a second away loss in four days, dropping to 16th-place on the log, as they remain in search of a first away win of the season which could make the difference in their relegation battle.