AHLAN CUP: Akwa Utd move top of Group after barren draw - FCNaija

NPFL By: Ayodeji Tunde | 04/12/2017

Akwa United moved top of Group B at the 2017 Ahlan Cup Pre-season Tournament in Kano after playing a goalless draw with Katsina United at the Kano Pillars Stadium on Monday morning.

The Promise Keepers went into the match as joint group leaders with 4 points following a win against Yobe Stars and their goalless draw against Enyimba in their opening two matches.

With one win and two draws, Coach Abdu Maikaba's team momentarily top the group with 5 points one more than second place Wikki Tourists who will face Yobe Stars later today.

Akwa United and Katsina United began the game with great intensity, engaging each other in a midfield battle in the opening minutes of the game.

Chances were few and far between the two sides in the first half. Katsina United registered the only attempt on target from a free kick following Etim Matthew's hand ball but Ishmaila Shagari pulled a fingertip save to deny the opponent from taking the lead.

Despite enjoying greater percentage of possession in the first half, Katsina United were unable to penetrate the Promise Keepers well coordinated defense marshalled by Ariwachukwu Emmanuel and Godspower Igudia as the first half ended 0-0.

The Aiteo Cup Champions stepped up their game in the second half and dominated play in all the departments but Ubong Friday, Hassan Babangida and Cyril Olisema all failed to hit the target from promising positions.

In a tactical substitution, Coach Maikaba brought in Musa Newman, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Aniekeme Asuquo, Daniel Ekpo and Adeshina Gata to help add firepower in the attack and it almost paid off when Newman was put through on goal but his effort was saved by the outrushing Katsina United goalkeeper.

Katsina United have themselves to blame for not winning the match after they had two clear cut chances in the space of three minutes to score but failed to make it count in what was their only opportunity in the second half.

The Promise Keepers are unbeaten after three matches and will next face Nasarawa United at the Sani Abacha Stadium on Tuesday at 2pm.