SUNSHINE STARS 1-1 RIVERS UNITED: Sunshine Stars Salvage a late draw against Holders Rivers United


Sunshine Stars were made to settle for a point in an NPFL heavy weights clash with Rivers United on Thursday at the Ondo State Sports Complex, Akure.

Ibrahim Yusuf got all the plaudits from his debut game away at Doma in the previous round and the bullish striker almost register another goal on his home bow for the Owena Whales when he powered through United’s back line to meet a drop-ball only for his header to drift wide agonisingly.

The Pride of Rivers had their noses in front from an goal as Andrew Abalogu turned into his own net in desperate attempt to make a goal mouth clearance from the visitors first sniff at goal after 23 minutes.

Sunshine Stars almost found a leveller eight minutes later when Abdulrahman Bashiru was set up by Temitope Vincent from a sweeping team move, but the former could not just keep his effort down inside the area.

Goalkeeper Mustapha Lawal was at his brilliant best in the 37th minute to spare the blushes of the hosts from close range and keep the score line slim.

In bid to change the cause of the game, Edith Agoye introduced Samson Olasupo alongside Azeez Ajagbe and the move nearly paid off before the break as Olasupo narrowly dragged against the side-netting from Mafeng Pam’s through ball against the run of play.

Sunshine Stars heightened the search for an equaliser in the second half, with Yusuf, Olasupo and second half substitute, Michael Olalusi asking all the questions while Rivers United were kept under the heat for a prolong spell in the their own half.

The Akure landlords eventually drew level five minutes from time through Ejike Uzoechi who scored from the spot after the defending champions were penalised for a handball in the area.

Despite a late rally from the Owena Whales to complete the turn around, the 2022/23 Abridged NPFL (group B) matchday two contest ended all square.


“I am a little bit disappointed with the result because we could have won if we had converted our chances in the first half.

“Rivers United are an experience side, they have been playing very well in the league, but am a bit disappointed about their delay tactics. Football is for fans to come and enjoy themselves, but the way they played in the second half is not worthy of Nigerian defending champions. But at the end of the day it’s a point from a position of defeat, we will take that and go to our next game to compensate for this.”

Sunshine Stars next face Enugu Rangers on match day three at the Akwa City Stadium.

Sunshine XI | Lawal; Abalogu, Imo, Ogbuagu, Uzoechi; Akhabue (41 Ajagba), Achi (76′ Muritala) Pam (72′ Olalusi); Bashiru (41′ Olasupo), Yusuf, Vincent (72′ Chukwude)

Unused Subs | Ariyo; Olulayo, Iwuoha, Udom

Caution | Yusuf 60′

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

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