NPFL: Atule header earns katsina United point at Wikki

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Substitute Joseph Atule 86th minute header ensured Katsina United forced Wikki Tourist to a 1-1 draw at the Pantami Stadium Gombe in a Matchday 12 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) game played on Sunday afternoon.

Manu Garba had given the home team the lead in the 13th minute. They, however, have themselves to blame having wasted many chances, Adamu Mohammed and Saidu Abdullahi were the chief culprits.

The first chance of the game came in the 9th minute when Idris Guda, after combining with Adamu Mohammed, shot wide off the post.

Moment of brilliance from Manu Garba four minutes later saw him run through the right flank and from a tight angle he slotted in. Saidu Abdullahi and Adamu Mohammed had two chances each before the end of the half.

Saidu headed and later shot straight at goalkeeper Mustapha Aliko. Adamu Mohammed first sliced the bar in the 26th minutes and the best chance of the game saw him brilliantly dribbling everybody including the goalkeeper but fired wide.

Ten minutes into the second half, captain Idris Guda had an opportunity to increase the tally but his shot after he received a through pass from Mohammed, was weak and never bothered Aliko.

Katsina were lackluster in every department, Gambo Mohammed was left isolated up front and they were forced to make a change after defender Habibu Yakubu picked a knock.

He was replaced by Adekunle Adeniyi. Wikki came close again in the 70th minutes after William Ukeme direct free kick forced Aliko Mohammed to parry out the shot.

With few minutes to go and no side making progress, both coaches made changes, first, Katsina Coach Ayodele Makinde brought in Joseph Atule for Eric Gwammy. Coach Garba of Wikki responded by bringing in Promise Damala for Saidu Abdullahi.

Atule brought in pace and energy for the visitors and it wasn’t long when he outraced his opponent and nodded in a Tasiu Lawan cross.

It was the visitors’ only attempt on target. Atule still had another opportunity but this time as he raced to the box, his shot was intercepted by Peter Ambrose.

Wikki have now drawn their last three home matches, they will head to Akwa United while Katsina will meet leaders Plateau United in the next matchday.