Ahmed Musa marked his Nigeria Professional Football League return with an assist as Kano Pillars edged Adamawa United 1-0 on Sunday.
The Nigeria international was missing in action as Sai Masu Gida played out a 1-1 draw at Warri Wolves last time out.
Nonetheless, he was named in the starting XI and justified coach Ibrahim Musa’s faith in him by setting up Rabiu Ali for the only goal of the tight encounter.
Needing a win at the Sani Abacha Stadium to brighten their title ambitions, they began the game on a strong note.
They went close to taking the lead in the 15th minute, but Fahad Usman’s free-kick sailed over the crossbar after Musa was fouled on the edge of the visitors’ box.
Despite dominating ball possession for the remainder of the first 45 minutes, Pillars were unable to convert the chances that came their way.
They stepped up their game in the second half, nonetheless, the scores remained unchanged as the visitors put up some solid defending.
With twenty minutes left to play, Sai Masu Gida got a lifeline after being awarded a penalty kick following a foul on Ali.
However, the Nigerian elite division veteran failed to beat the opposing goalkeeper from the ensuing kick.
In the 80th minute, Ali made amends for his miss by scoring the winning goal after he was teed up by the former Leicester City star.
Following this triumph, the four-time Nigerian elite division kings remained second on the NPFL log having accrued 40 points from 21 matches in the 2020-21 campaign.
Akwa United remain at the summit of the log thanks to their 2-0 win versus cross-city rivals Dakkada FC.
Musa could be handed his second start when Kano Pillars take on Katsina United in their next outing on May 23.
The 28-year-old began his European expedition at Eredivisie side VVV Venlo and his impressive performances at the Dutch side saw him sign for Russian top-flight side CSKA Moscow.
Having won three league titles, one Russian Cup and two Russia Super Cups with the Horses in his four-year spell, he joined Leicester City on July 8, 2016, for a club record of £16.6 million at the time.
He is part of Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles that will take on Cameroon on June 4 in Vienna.