Shooting Stars of Ibadan opened all salvos in the dying minutes to produce a winning goal which dashed visiting Sunshine Stars’ hope of snatching an away point from Ibadan in their week 30 encounter at the Lekan Salami Stadium on Sunday evening.
Late time substitute, Ebitimi Agogo, ran in with a pass and committed on-rushing Sunshine goalie, Ojo Olorunleke who brought him down for a penalty which Sunday Adetunji slotted in, sending the keeper the wrong way to produce a brace which kept scores at 2-1.
Sunshine had had shocked Ibadan fans as they opened scores in the 23rd minute as Meshak Chukwubuikem nodded in Michael Egbeta’s cross from the right flank. The Akure boys very promising as they maintained solid organisation and calm calculation against an apparently anxious and nervous Shooting side in the first half.
The anxiety of the Ibadan boys showed severally in lots of missed chances in front of open goal with Sunday Adetunji being the worst culprit but Coach Gbenga Ogunbote said despite his wastefulness he still believed in him and he indeed delivered the equaliser hanging a penalty in the roof and beyond Olorunleke in the 33rd minute when Ojo Mine brought goal-bound Ajani Ibrahim down inside the box.
Speaking after the high tension match, Ogunbote commended his boys for rising to the challenge of Sunshine and achieving a result which will help to stay away from relegation zone.
“I commend my boys for standing up to the challenge today. The match was a local derby and it was bound to be tough. You could see that my players were nervous in the first half, especially playing in the front of the state governor and anxious to win. We lost a lot of chances in the first half but we came back better organised and more determined in the second half. With this result we will be off the relegation zone by inches. Our next target is to go pick maximum points against Ikorodu in Lagos and that would keep us safe on the log.”
While Sunshine coach Solomon Ogbeide rued missed chances by his players, he says he is feeling “cautious pessimism” about officiating.
“This match has come and gone and I congratulate Shooting for their victory. We almost sailed away with a draw until the late minute. My boys could have wrapped victory but they missed several chances,” Ogbeide said
Reacting to the tension which trailed the match, Sunshine captain, Sunday Abe pointed out that both Shooting and Sunshine are brothers and the hostility which follows their encounters is uncalled for.
“Our two clubs are brothers. Our players and Shooting players are friends. I do not see the reason why we should be hostile towards ourselves. The problem is not really with the the players. The problem is usually from the officials.”