Sunshine Stars win 1-0 to extend Akwa United’s winless run
By Fred Edoreh
Silas Nwankwo’s 60th minute lone strike made the difference to earn Sunshine Stars maximum points over visiting Akwa United FC of Uyo and their second win of the season in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Match Day 6 encounter at the Akure Township Stadium on Sunday.
The defeat continues Akwa United’s indifferent start to the season that has left them with no win after six games.
After a blank first half with lots of wasted chances by the hosts, Nwankwo latched on a rebound from Anthony Omaka’s blocked attempt at goal and Itodo Akor was helpless.
The victory lifts Sunshine Stars to eight points from six games following their earlier victory over Enyimba of Aba on Matchday 4 and two draws.
The result is no joy for Akwa United that looked to ambush the home team for possible win or draw to reverse their unimpressive run. But they will make a return to Uyo nursing the pain of their second defeat and just draws with no win so far.
From kick off, Sunshine Stars indicated their hunger for victory with sporadic attacks which saw Waheed Adebayo opening fire in the 5th minute just as Jide Fatokun stretched to nod in Jonathan Zikiye’s corner kick in the 9th minute, but they remained soft touches for Itodo.
Israel Abia miscued to swoosh the air in the 11th minute after Fuad Ekelojuoti chested down a sitter for him in the box while Ekelojuoti also shot wide and high from the area after accurately tapping down Waheed Adebayo’s well tailored cross in the 13th.
Captain Sunday Abe got close to the mark with a powerful 17th minute strike but Itodo stood firm to block out for a corner kick but Samson Gbadebo was right on hand to block Ekelojuoti’s attempt to convert it just as Samuel Matthias blocked Adebayo’s 22 minute effort from the edge of the box.
Akwa’s only major attempt at goal before the break was Ndifreke Effiong’s header from a corner kick which went over. They however returned with promise in the second half with Chisom Chikatara immediately substituting Christian Ekong and Ndifreke delivered a thunder in the 47th minute but Saliu Suleiman was alert enough to parry for a corner kick.
Effiong prowled back in the 50th minute and almost jabbed in David Phillip’s cross Inside the 6 yard box but there was no yield.
Sunshine doubled their effort with the introduction of Wasiu Jimoh in place of Waheed Adebayo to give more pace up front and giving room for Omaka and Nwankwo to combine better in the offensive for the goal.