Unity Preseason Tourney: Sarki’s strike hands Mahanaim FC last 8 ticket in Wikki Tourists’ stalemate

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Olaoluwa Aro

Mahanaim FC pacing winger and Flying Eagles forward, Rilwanu Haliru Sarki powered his team to the knockout round of the ongoing Unity Preseason Tourney- with an unexpected 17-yards shot against Wikki Tourists in their Group D tie that ended in a 1-1 draw.

The Nigeria’s Under 20 Star forward, confirmed the exit of the Nigeria Professional Football League ( NPFL) side, Wikki Tourists alongside Doma United in their last group games on Tuesday in Abuja with that delightful strike.

The last matches in the group D which took place simultaneously at both Old Parade Ground, venue of the game between Mahanaim FC and Wikki Tourist, while EFCC versus Doma was played at Area 3, Football Pitch, both in Abuja.

The two fixtures showed how difficult it was for two of the teams, to have qualified before the last round of matches in the Unity preseason tournament groupings.

Wikki Tourist drew the first blood against Mahanaim FC during the course of the first 45 minutes and managed to hold on to it till they went on recess.

The non-league side, Mahanaim FC had lined up some of their fringe players in a bid to build their confidence and equally exposed them through the highly intensed encounter with Wikki Tourists, however, Saheed Olalekan (Seedorf) promptly unleashed all his foot soldiers into the field of play, as the second 45 minutes started.

Mahanaim were initially forced by Wikki Tourist to adopt a not too impressive tactics which is against the culture and style of play of the Abuja-based side.

As the match continued to take shape properly Wikki Tourists were struggling to contain the tactically high pressing ‘ approach of the Mahanaim boys all through the progression of the match.

The kebbi born intelligent winger, Rilwanu Sarki came on explosively and flashed the Bauchi-based football team goalkeeper with his well taken strike, though, the man who stood in between the goalposts was alert to save the ferocious strike.

Aliu Baba Kareem, known as Mahanaim FC ‘tiger ‘ calmly controlled a through pass from one of his teammates in the 89th minute of the game, and was able to finessed two Wikki Tourist defenders, while setting up a sublime cross for the pacing winger, Sarki, who this time around thunderously lashed his left-foot on the ball from 17-yards into the net.

This late effort confirmed the quarter finals ticket of Mahanaim FC, as Doma United exit the competition after they settled for a two all draw against EFCC at the area 3 football pitch; suffice to say, Rilwanu Haliru Sarki handed the Abuja-based team its Quarter finals ticket.

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