Katsina United and Kano Pillars played out a 2-2 draw in the first game of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at Muhammadu Dikko Stadium on Saturday.
Former Nigerian champions Kano Pillars started on the front foot with Junior Lokosa forcing Katsina United goalkeeper Dami Paul into a save in the opening minutes.
Paul could not stop Lokosa from giving Pillars the lead after 33 minutes when the striker expertly finished off a superb pass from Victor Dennis.
In added time of the first half Chinedu Ajanah equalised for Katsina United with a headed attempt off a well-delivered free kick by Destiny Ashadi.
But before Ajanah's equaliser, Pillars defender Dennis was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Eric Gwammy by referee Sani Mohammed.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Kano-based club continued their fine display and just past the hour mark, Alassan Ibrahim restored their lead with a belter.
Pillars then held on to their slim lead for more than 30 minutes and their goalkeeper, David Obiazo, even kept out a spot kick from Muhammed Hussaini seven minutes to full time.
Ashadi's late goal in added time of the second half saved Katsina United the blushes.
Nine matches will take place on Sunday to round off the first fixtures of the NPFL this weekend.