The 2017 Nigeria Professional Football League pre-season Invitational tournament got off to a drawing start on Monday in Kano.
Reigning league champions Plateau United left it late to rescue a 1-1 draw against Enyimba in the tournament’s opening match at the Sani Abacha Stadium.
Enyimba were reduced to ten men on seventeen minutes after captain Uche John received a second booking for an off-the-ball altercation with Kabiru Umar.
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The People’s Elephant then spurned a chance to go in front five minutes later when Chinonso Okonkwo’s penalty was well saved by Okiemute Odah.
There was no denying Enyimba however on 34 minutes when Chinedu Udeagha finished off a brilliant move involving defender Isiaka Oladuntoye and striker Wasiu Alalade.
With further chances wasted, Enyimba were punished in second half stoppage time when Freedom Omofoman was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box. Striker Tosin Omoyele duly obliged from the spot to give United a scarcely earned point.
In the day’s other game, Akwa United and MFM FC battled to an entertaining 1-1 draw in the game concluded under floodlights.
After a goalless first half, MFM took the lead early in the second half through Adegboyega Adekunle who netted a rebound after Akwa goalkeeper Emmanuel Iwu saved Kenedium’s effort.
Ajibola Otegbeye however evened the scores just after the hour mark, dispatching a spot kick after Chuka Uwaga was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box.
Tuesday will be observed as rest day in the tournament before action returns on Wednesday with the Super Eagles B team playing their first game against Plateau United while hosts Kano Pillars also play their first game against Akwa United.