Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side Nasarawa United on Wednesday beat El-Kanemi Warriors 1-0 to win the 2019 Ahlan Cup pre-season football competition.
Tournament’s top scorer Abubakar Lawal scored what turned out to be the only goal of the game in the 20th minute when he converted from the penalty spot after Lucky Erimuya handled the ball inside the box.
Lawal’s goal was his fourth of the tournament and marked a turnaround for Nasarawa, coached by Bala Nikyu who lost their first game of the competition.
Attempts by NNL side El-Kanemi Warriors to draw level in the second half of the game decided at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano were foiled by the impressive Nasarawa United goalkeeper Danlami Umar.
The Ahlan Cup tournament is sponsored by Kano State Football Association chairman Rabiu Inuwa Ahlan.
Wednesday’s final was witnessed by top football dignitaries in the country, including the League Management Company (LMC) supremo Shehu Dikko, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)’s Head of Technical Committee Ahmed Yusuf Fresh and other football personalities.
Nasarawa United goalkeeper Danlami Umar who was the hero of penalty shootout victories in their quarter and semi final games was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).
The Ahlan Cup is the last of the series of pre-season football tournaments that engaged Nigerian league clubs as they long awaited the kickoff of the new season. Kano Pillars had won the last two editions of the tournament.
The 2019/20 league season in Nigeria will commence on Sunday November 3, 2019 with Nasarawa United visiting reigning league champions Enyimba in their Match Day One encounter.