Another matchday of draws at NPFL Invitational

By George Akpayen

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Photo: LMC Media
Photo: LMC Media

The two games on Matchday 2 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) failed to produce goals as the Super Eagles preparing for next year’s CHAN played out a scoreless draw with Plateau United and Kano Pillars and Akwa United also finished level-pegging.

Kano Pillars and Akwa United began the matchday on Wednesday at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano and the Uyo club were playing in their fourth game in five days and on the back of a three-nil bashing from Pillars in the final of the Ahlan Cup last Sunday.

Akwa United and Plateau United had already taken a point each in their opening games on Monday against MFM FC and Enyimba respectively, and both teams knew they had to avoid defeat to stand any chance of reaching the final this Sunday.

In the first game, Pillars striker Junior Lokosa scored on eight minutes but it was ruled out after he handled the ball on his way through to goal.

Late in the game, Akwa United nearly took the lead when substitute Amaechi Orji’s effort clipped the upright just three minutes after coming on for Cyril Olisema.

The Kano Pillars versus Akwa United petered out for the CHAN-bound Super Eagles and Plateau United game to take centre stage on the night.

The Eagles coach Salisu Yusuf opted for a centre-back pairing of Olamilekan Aniyikaye and Katsina United’s Timothy Danladi before the former got crocked inside 10 minutes and was replaced by Kalu Orji Okogbue.

Close to the half hour mark in the game, Joshua Obaje made Eagles goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa to work after a fine build-up to attempt.

Plateau United winger Obaje caused Eagles right-back Osas Okoro all sorts of trouble in the second half and at some point skinned his marker but hit his cross out of range when he should have done better.

El-Kanemi Warriors youngster Nura Mohammed also had a 10-minute spell for the Eagles when he was sent on to replace Ibrahim Mustapha as both teams fired blanks.

The NPFL Invitational continues on Friday with two matches.

© The Predictor

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