The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Under-17 All-Stars began their first appearance at the Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament with a 1-1 draw against SAFA Tshwane at the Nike Training Centre in Soweto on Monday.
The NPFL All-Stars dominated the game almost from start to finish but had just one moment of poor defending which to the South African selected team breaching their defence. Nine minutes into the contest, Wikki Tourists youngster Bilal Yusuf failed to clear a long ball into the NPFL All-Stars defence and allowed Katlego Mampa get the goal side of him.
Bilal's attempt to stop the SAFA Tshwane's forward ended in him clipping the heels of his opponents and the referee awarded a spot kick. Mampa despatched the spot kick past Mohammed Galadima in the NPFL All-Stars goal for the first goal of the tournament.
The Nigerian team then pressed play against SAFA Tshwane, forcing them to play deep in their half for the remainder of the first half. Nazifi Yahaya, Dini Lawal and Mustapha Salisu Musa were all over the defence of SAFA Tshwane and made life difficult for them.
The NPFL All-Stars were rescued from the jaws of defeat in the 21st minute when Dini benefited from the failure of SAFA Tshwane to clear a loose ball in their box to tap home from close range to level scores at 1-1.
The first half ended all square after 30 minutes and the second half hour was same of the same with the Nigerians dominating. SAFA Tshwane goalkeeper did well in the second half to ensure the Nigerians did not score when he stretched at full length to push Rafiu Ishaq's free kick to safety to ensure the game finished at 1-1.
The NPFL All-Stars will face Torino FC in their next match on Tuesday.                          
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