CLUB NEWS

Plateau Utd retain top spot after 1-1 draw with Shooting Stars

By Fred Edoreh

The Nigeria Professional Football League Matchday 12 encounter between Shooting Stars of Ibadan and table toppers Plateau United ended in a share of the points as the game ended in a one-all draw at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan on Sunday.

Shooting Stars had been held to a 1-1 draw by southwest rivals, Remo Stars, last weekend on same home ground and Ibadan fans had hoped for a different outcome on Sunday evening but Plateau United, fancying their place in the sun as league leaders, seemed to have visited with a different idea, to ambush Shooting Stars and cart away maximum points to Jos.

The Ibadan club however started with great promise drawing close on several occasions but a clear chance to Nonso Mbakwe in a goalmouth scramble resulted in a Shooting Stars corner which was fluffed in the 41st minute just as Adebayo Abayomi missed a golden opportunity to put them in front with Plateau United goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye at his mercy.

After a foray of counter pressure and impressive saves by the goalkeepers, Plateau seized the moment and announced their mission by drawing the first blood as substitute Ibeh Johnson tapped in a long throw-in at the nick of the half time whistle.

Ibeh had only come off the bench in the 37th minute to replace injured Benjamin Turba.

Back in the second half, Shooting put all the pressure but the Jos boys defended stoutly blocking off all shots at goal until the 68th minute when Salomon Junior was flagged and yellow carded for rough tackle on substitute Bode Daniel in the box and a penalty award to Shooting.

After protests from the Plateau players and a resultant yellow card to Ajiboye, Adebayo Abayomi stepped forward and hit hard from the spot to rescue Shooting with an equaliser as the kick proved too fast for Ajiboye who followed rightly.

The Ibadan fans did not find the challenge funny and exhibited a restiveness that almost brought the game into bad blood.

Plateau however returns to Jos better from the contest with a point in the kitty from Ibadan.

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