Wikki Tourists dominated possession, but needed a fantastic second half performance to wipe out Lala Abdullahi’s Jigawa Golden Stars in this exciting 2-1 victory.
The season kicked off at the Pantami Stadium with several changes.
A revamped Giant Elephant took on a Jigawa Golden Stars team distracted by poor welfare.
Manu Garba wasted an early chance by scuffing his shot straight at goalkeeper Kenneth Christopher while a Sikiru Kamaldeen free kick was easily captured. The tempo was quite slow in the blistering sunshine, especially as Nigeria is in the middle of an unprecedented heatwave at the moment.
However, it was the Giant Killers who raced in front in the 15th minute. Lala Abdullahi scored with his first attempt on goal.
Abdullahi again tried from distance, but goalkeeper Ibrahim Pius judged the dip correctly, also blocking a dangerous angled drive and long-range missile.
After the restart, Saidu Abdullahi equalized for the Giant Elephants. He fired home a rebound from close range to beat goalkeeper Kenneth Christopher.
The hosts thought they had taken the lead moments later with Mubarak Umar’s cross-shot from the tightest of angles, but it was cleared off the line.
Wikki Tourists eventually found the winner in the 61st minute.
Ex-Niger Tornadoes striker Umar burst past his marker before setting up Idris Guda who went for a spectacular over head kick.