Sunshine Stars hold out for valuable win against Enyimba
Sunshine Stars FC of Akure stood solid to convert their early lead to a 1-0 victory for maximum points over visiting Enyimba FC of Aba in the Nigeria Professional Football League Matchday 4 encounter at the Akure Township Stadium on Wednesday.
Anthony Omaka made the difference on the day with a 10th minute low strike that left goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili no chance of redemption.
Ironically, it was Enyimba who opened the offensive with a near shocker in the 3rd minute as ex-Sunshine player, Dayo Ojo, opened up his former team’s defence with a deep cross but his team mates were not close enough to take advantage.
Sunshine responded quickly with Uche Ihuarulam setting up Israel Abia one-on-one with Nwabili but Israel’s first touch disappointed him. Further attempts to raise the tally came with Fuad Ekelojuoti gaining a close range chance but his point blank shot only forced a save from Nwabili. He also blew another chance in 39th minute right inside the area just as Waheed Adebiyi missed a shave by the whiskers and Omaka blazed over Ekelojuoti’s sitter, both inside the 6 yard box.
Enyimba resumed the second half with double substitution which brought in Stanley Dimgba for Dayo Ojo and Bala Reuben for Cyril Olisema before also bringing on Martins Usule for Samson Obi in the 79th minute.
Though the changes added tempo to their search for an equaliser, the much they got was a thunderous 88th minute strike by Oladapo which was parried by Saliu Suleiman for a corner kick cleared by lanky Alimi with a header from the goal line.
With Enyimba’s desperation, Sunshine kept a balance of defence and attack with the closest shave being Israel Abia’s latch on a sloppy clearance but missed unbelievably with only the keeper to beat.
Sunshine changes of Omo Jesu Oguniyi for Israel Abia, Rilwanu Sodiq for Uche Ihuarulam and Wasiu Jimoh for debutant Waheed Adebayo refreshed the team to keep danger away and ensure they sustained their 1-0 lead into a win.