Business-like Katsina United beat Sunshine Stars in Akure

By Olayinka Owolewa

A well-organised Katsina United defeated a Sunshine Stars side that dominated most of the proceedings during Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Matchday 25 encounter but later surrendered to a 2-1 loss to visitors.

The match played at the Akure Township Stadium on Wednesday saw Sunshine Stars began their dominance as early as the second minute when Wasiu Jimoh forced Katsina United’s goalkeeper, Kassaly Daouda to a big save from a free kick.

Six minutes later, Fuad Ekelojuoti missed a big opportunity to put his team ahead but then again Kassaly Daouda made the difference when he palmed the ball to a corner to deny him from Wasiu Jimoh’s beautiful cross.

In the 17th minute, Waheed Adebayo couldn’t reach Mohammed Suleiman’s back flip pass to free him one on one with Kassaly Daouda who came off his line on time to deny the Sunshine Stars’ attacker.

In the 21st minute, centre referee turned the deaf ear to Sunshine Stars’ fans appeal for a penalty when he waved play on after Fuad Ekelojuoti unnecessarily went down in the box.

Injury forced Katsina United coach, Henry Makinwa, to make an early change in the 35th minute when Abdullahi Abubakar replaced injured Dominic Abah and the substitute made an immediate impact on the game with his array of sleeky passes.

Abdullahi Abubakar’s pass had met an attacking Faisal Sani whose perfect cross met an unmarked Suleiman Ibrahim who headed pass Henry Ayodele in goal for Sunshine Stars from Katsina United’s first opportunity of the game.

Katsina United held on well and maintained the scoreline at 1-0 going into the break.

Sunshine Stars head coach, Kabiru Dogo made a tactical change in the 50th minute when Omo Jesu Ogunniyi replaced Wasiu Jimoh and the attacker made a quick impact when his free kick in the 53rd minute hit the woodwork.

Injury again forced Katsina United to another change when goal scorer Suleiman Ibrahim retired to the bench due to injury but Muhammed Sani took his place in the 55th minute.

Kassaly Daouda left the Sunshine Stars’ fans in anguish when he made what looks like the safe of the game when Anthony Omaka couldn’t bury an opportunity inside six yard box with Katsina United goalkeeper using his chest to turn the ball into corner kick in the 59th minute.

Eight minutes later, Joseph Atule doubled the lead for Katsina United from a counter attack, Tasiu Lawal released the attacker before finding the back of the net leaving Henry Ayodele helpless in the process.

In the 73rd minute, Tasiu Lawal would have made it 3-0 for Katsina United after Atule freed him but his hurriedly taken shot went off target.

Substitute, Silas Nwankwo, reduced the tally for Sunshine Stars when he benefited from Kassaly Daouda’s error.

Ayo Adejubu’s introduction in the 80th minute added to Sunshine Stars’ attacking forces but Katsina United’s defence arranged and stood firmly to deny them many of the opportunities created.

The result lifted Katsina United from the 13th position before the match day to the 10th position on the log while Sunshine Stars dropped one place on the table from the eighth position to ninth.