- Published on Wednesday, 29 March 2017 19:32
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By Tunde Oyedele
Reprieve came for underfire Sunshine Stars Coach Kayode Olujohungbe as he led the club to win the first of the two must win matches ultimatum handed him recently by the club Management.
Fielding against Katsina United, the Akure Gunners grabbed all three points thanks to two unreplied second half goals from Thomas Adesina and super-sub Damilare Sunday on Match Day 16 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at Akure Stadium midweek.
The performance is perhaps a reflection of the new can-do spirit in camp following the marching orders and this new confidence was evident from the start of the match.
Substitute and Man Of The Match, Alimi Sikiru's brilliant left foot drive, low to the right from the edge of the penalty area, was followed by Thomas Adesina bicycle kick from close range, which sent the ball high into the far corner.
Beautiful Goal! The fans reacted from the stands as the hosts shot into the lead on 64 minutes.
The second goal, a clinical finish also started from Alimi. The fast paced attacking midfielder satisfied his desire, operating all-alone and running down the visitors' rear before sending the killer pass which Damilare Sunday coolly slotted home with just a minute to full time.
Katsina United's Coach Baldwin Bazuaye, a former national player and influential league player in his days, fielded a starting line-up that included some of well known stars in the NPFL and they were not disgraced despite losing on the road.
Musa Suleman and Mustapha Bello were in their usual blazing forms. The most appetising moves for the visitors was the frontline partnership consisting of Ashadi Destiny and Mustapha Bello, supported by Musa Suleman but they were found wanting when it came to finishing.
Suleman particularly drove down the right and the hosts respected him a lot, offering him a lot of options for his delivery into the goal area but the Katsina boy shot straight into the waiting hands of goalkeeper Olorunleke.
With Eric Gwammy, Usman Barau and Ado Ali working so hard with fluid passes to the midfield, the attempted drive often failed to sail through to the attack as Destiny and Bello fluffed narrow opportunities.
Even when the scoreline was even at end of the first half, the re-start was robustly contested by both clubs yet with near misses.
Sunshine, however shrugged off the opponents' fluid play to demand some respect, with the ageless Ayo Saka marshalling and sending precision passes that gave the new boys courage to run down their visitors.
Damilare Sunday's touches were not special in anyway but he was at the right place to make the scoring attempt, which yielded the second goal that silenced Bazuaye and his wards.
Both coaches completed their changes but it was Olujohungbe's tactics that finished the job on yet another interesting and tough NPFL Matchday 16 in Akure.
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