Ibrahim Yusuf’s second goal in three matches, supplemented by goalkeeper Mustapha Lawal’s heroic ensured Sunshine Stars returned with a point against Enugu Rangers on matchday three of the 2022/23 NPFL.

For the second time in as many matches the Owena Whales were made to deal with the setback of an own goal as a handball was deflected home off Ikemdinachi Imo inside the opening 15 minutes to gift the Flying Antelopes the lead.

The visitors took the game to the hosts afterwards and they eventually found a leveller in the 36th minute, through inform man, Yusuf who slotted home inside area from a brilliant Azeez Ajagbe’s pass.

In desperate attempt to regain the lead after the restart, Rangers picked up the intensity and committe more numbers forward, and went close in quick successions through Samuel Pam just before the hour mark.

For a moment, Sunshine Stars were starring at a possible first loss of the season when they got penalised for a handball in the 89th minute, however Lawal came in clutches to save the day by diving low to deny Christian Nnaji from the spot.

The Edith Agoye tutored boys withstood Rangers barrage till the end, with Mafeng Pam making a decisive goal line clearance in added time to ensure Sunday’s thrilling contest in Awka ended all square.


“It was a very good game, despite the fact that they (Rangers) had their back to the wall they played a very good game. They are coached by one of the best coaches in Nigeria and I want the Enugu Government to keep faith with the team, believe me, with time they will get it right.

“It be shinning for me and the team, when I came in I met a depleted team; most of the players that played for Sunshine Stars last season left, it was difficult at the beginning but we thank God today that the team is taking shape, evolving gradually and this one point here and there offers lot of encouragement to the boys that they can pull through.

“The own goal at home was unfortunate and it drew us back but the game is gone. The goal today was scored by the hand, if you look at it very well you will see it; everyone saw it but unfortunately the referee didn’t see it, that’s football! I am very happy with the response of the players; they show character and fight back for the equaliser. We happy with the point and we deserved it.”

Sunshine Stars who are now undefeated in three matches we look to get their first win of the season on the board when they host Abia Warriors in Akure on matchday four.

Sunshine XI | Lawal; Iwuoha, Imo, Ogbuagu, Uzoechi (C); Lawal (67′ Udom) Pam, Ajagbe (87′ Suraju); Olulayo (87′ Olulayo) Chukwude (20′ Yusuf), Olasupo (67′ Jimoh)

Unused Subs | Ariyo, Amah; Abogu, Olalusi

Cautions | Yusuf 31′ Olasupo 64′

Chris Okunnuwa
Media Head; SSFC
IG, FB & Twitter: @SunshineFCAkure
Youtube: Sunshine Stars TV

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