Niger Tornadoes and Katsina United I will contest the final of the maiden edition of the Governor Masari Preseason Tournament after they overcame their respective opponents in the semi-final games played on Saturday at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina.
Tornadoes picked the first final ticket after they narrowly edged the surprise package of the tournament, Zamfara United on penalties after both teams ended the tie in a 0-0 stalemate before the penalty kick lottery was called into action.
The Ikon Allah Boys expertly converted all the four penalty kicks that came their way while Zamfara United only managed to score two. Tornadoes thus qualified for the Sunday where they will trade tackles with Katsina United.
In the second semi-final, Katsina United (I) barely scaled through to the final at the expense of Katsina United (II) on penalty shootouts after both teams played an entertaining 3-3 draw in a tie played under floodlight at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina.
It was Katsina United I that got the curtain-raiser in the eighth minute through former FC IfeanyiUbah player, Samuel Kalu but the lead only lasted for nine minutes before Gambo Mohammed equalised for Katsina United II in the 17th minute.
Katsina United II got back their rhythm after the equaliser and their series of pressure incursions into the vital area of their opponents paid off after the halftime break and they shot into the lead in the 62nd minute through Boubacar Massaly but the Changi Boys I restored parity two minutes later through Joseph Atule.
Atule again netted to put Katsina United I in the ascendancy for the second time in the game in the 68th minute but Senegalese Massaly ensured honours were even when he got Katsina United II’s third goal and his second of the game in the 86th minute.
In the ensuing penalties, Katsina United I narrowly claimed victory when they converted three of their spot-kicks as against two scored by Katsina United II.
The curtain falls on the Governor Masari Preseason Tournament on Sunday night at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina City by 8 pm when Niger Tornadoes trade tackles with Katsina United I.
The preseason tournament was packaged and sponsored by the Katsina Commissioner for Sports, Youth and Social Development, Honourable Aliyu Danlami.